Sunday, 15 March 2015

Follow The Firefly

Follow The Firefly

Bernardo Carvalho

Follow The Firefly is a book like no other, for a start it’s two books instead of one.  Read from beginning to end we follow the journey of a firefly as he navigates his way through the forest in search of a flashing light.  When he finally discovers what he’s been searching for the story changes direction and we now read the book from end to beginning in Run, Rabbit, Run.  As we travel back through the pages we realise that the rabbit’s been there all along, playing out its own story before our eyes.  We follow the rabbit as it breaks free from a cage and is chased by a dog determined to catch up.  Both stories conclude with a wonderful twist to their tales so we shan’t spoil them for you, but take it from us, they’ll certainly make you smile.

This is a wordless picture book and so complete freedom is given to the reader as to how long they wish to spend poring over each page.  The pace of the book is at your discretion, though with so many half-hidden offbeat inclusions you’ll find yourself lingering longer and longer.  Carvalho’s artwork is beautiful; created through layered watercolour, it’s full of vibrancy whilst also being both dark and mildly perilous.  It’s this contrast that makes the book so spectacular to view.  There’s a  feeling of urgency, especially in Run, Rabbit, Run as the forest grows darker and the animals within becoming more dangerous looking. You’ll find yourself turning the pages quicker and quicker, hoping that you too can outrun the chasing dog.  At times you’ll also spot the oddest of things: a ladybird with a human head or people with Pinocchio noses, and these inclusions add to the overall sense of uncertainty and more importantly, fun. 

Carvalho’s approach is such that this is a book to be visited time and time again, each viewing sure to offer up something new to relish.  Follow The Firefly/Run, Rabbit, Run is the perfect demonstration as to the power of illustrations and their universal understanding.  This really is a book for all.

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