Ballad was originally published as Romance in France in 2013. At the APL its cataloged as a graphic novel, but it doesn't follow the traditional graphic novel format. Ballad is a small picture book, with one short phrase per page (the school, the road, home). Each page presents one singular plotpoint. The book begins simply enough with a child simply walking home from school, but soon turns into a fairy tale with strangers, barges, soldiers, and all sorts of plotpoints popping up. Soon text and illustration are upside-down and jumbled, and text even disappears for awhile ("the ___"), leaving the reader to interpret the illustrations to know what is going on. It's an exciting book that begs for the pages to be turned and the story to be told. Nowhere in the book does it say how Blexbolex created the illustrations, however, according to Enchanted Lion (the US publisher of Ballad), Blexbolex is an accomplished silk-screen artist. Recommended for 3rd grade students and up and for those with highly active imaginations!
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