Occasionally, a work falls into your hands that you only want to touch with reverence and fingertips, and that tells a story that touches with great sensitivity. In the children’s book department of the Librairie Kléber bookstore in Strasbourg, Alsace, I came across the children’s book Midi Pile, which tells the adventures of the little rabbit Jacominus Gainsborough.
Rébecca Dautremer is the unique narrator and artist behind Jacominus’ experiences and has already introduced us to her in her first children’s book, The Rich Hours of Jacominus Gainsborough. With Midi Pile, she takes readers by the hand in a wonderful continuation of his adventures. The book is in coloured silhouette throughout and leads us through the story from the perspective of the little bunny.
Jacominus is expected at noon for a rendezvous with his sweetheart and he sets off. We cross the orchard, the suburbs, the market place, the circus until we finally arrive at the harbour and wait impatiently for them.
On the one hand, it tears my heart apart to think that this book will end up in the wild hands of children, the silhouettes are too delicate. On the other hand the story is for children and adults at the same time and will certainly leave a lasting impression on the little ones.
Words cannot do this book justice, so walk with me through the book:
Each page is cut out with a laser cutter and reworked. The price of €49.50 can be explained by this effort. The book has so far been published in French and Spanish by Sarbacane.
France Inter has asked Rébecca Dautremer how she creates Jacominus, and she shows and explains it in this broadcast (in French)