Thursday, June 04, 2015

Marianne Dubuc

After multiple reading of the 'The Lion and the Bird', I wrote to Marianne Dubuc with some queries. She was very kind to reply back almost within a day. Thank you, Marianne Dubuc for writing back with a lot details.  

Here it goes - 

Query - Going through the book, I wondered if the book could have been just made as a wordless picture book. The picture by themselves seem to speak volumes, did they still need the extra words at all?
Marianne: You might have read that already, but I actually did the whole book in images first. I wanted to do it this way, so that I would tell story with the images as much as possible. But I also wanted to add words. Because I feel that sometimes the fact that there are so few words can emphasize the emptiness, the stillness or force the reader to look at the image and let it complete the phrase. When I read wordless books to my kids, I tend to talk a lot, say tons of words. With The Lion and The Bird, the reader has to read the few words on the page, ans then complete it if he wishes, but there is a rythm that is imposed by their presence. And I say all of this, but I can assure you that I had not thought all of this through while doing the book. It all kind of happened this way, and I then noticed the impact that so few words can have on the reading experience.My first intention was to let the images tell the story and then add words so that both could work together. But I think that they do more then simply work together... :)

Query - I read in your write up with Picture book makers that you liked to tell a story through animals. I loved the way you showed human emotions using a Lion. Was it easy to transfer human emotions to a lion or does our human minds play a role in pushing these images into the pictures based on our understanding of the story at that point? Would love to hear your views on this. 

Marianne: I don't really plan things when working on stories. They kind of happen the way they do... But I do use animals a lot in my work. I prefer to draw animals then humans. I think I give myself more freedom of interpretation with animals then with humans. And I guess that animals all have personality traits that are associated with them culturally. This helps to tell the story. When I ask kids which one, between the Lion and the Bird, is the strongest, based on the cover, they all say "the lion!!". And the weakest, more fragile one is always the bird. But once I have read the story, they say the Lion is more fragile in my story. And I explain that the fact that we think the Lion is usually strong, lets the story surprise us, and emphasizes the Lion's vulnerability. I don't know if I make sense, english is not my main language.

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