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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Reader's Diary #1951- Teresa Radice (writer), Stefano Turconi (artist): Violette Around the World 1

I'm curious to know what Teresa Radice's plans are for Violette Around the World as it is clearly meant to develop into a series; this one is labeled volume 1 and it's only set in France, despite the title alluding to the entire planet.

With that in mind, it's hard for me to fully comment on the book. It's a comic with classic bande dessinee formating, and much of it seems to be setting up the premise and characters. It's set in the mid to late 1800s and revolves around a traveling family circus.

I didn't feel however that I really connected with the titular Violette yet as she meets up with artist Toulouse Lautrec and he steals the spotlight. I wonder if Violette will continue meeting famous historical figures. It's certainly a fun way to handle an educational goal but will Violette get lost in the shuffle?

I also found myself thinking about diversity as I read it. On the one hand,there's a lot of representation here from people of different cultures but I don't think that they're handled well. Violette's granddad, as a perfect example, is from the Himalayas and really stereotyped. He sits cross-legged on a rug, in traditional garb, eyes shut and smoking a pipe while speaking in wise proverbs. It's pretty cringe-worthy.

The art though was really good. It had the flowy-angular lines that captured movement well (not unlike a Toulouse Lautrec piece), while the characters had a vintage Looney Toons vibe, complementing the comedic approach.

1 comment:

Teresa Radice & Stefano Turconi said...

Hi! Sorry you felt this way about our book. Actually the book is originally born as a graphic novel with 3 chapters, not meant to be divided. It tells of one particular year in Viola's life, of the encounters that gradually change her point of view on things, mainly by showing her beauty in art, music and nature. It had no educational aim, it just wanted to tell a story of interchanging differences and richness... :-). Thank you for approaching it, anyway! :-)