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Book Reviews

Ballad

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When language is altered or disintegrates, how do we tell stories? In this spellbinding fairy tale, French artist Blexbolex imagines a fantasy town—each page presents a gothic snapshot of a single plot point, each with infinite interpretations. The town is turned (literally) upside down as a witch casts cruel spells, bandits kidnap a queen, demons dance in the night, and a stranger embarks on a perilously heroic quest. The true genius is in the details, as omens foreshadow victories and nuanced words dredge up evocative emotions—and certain objects play an integral part in the convergence of the plot. While the word choices are pivotal, it is the skill presented in the silkscreen printings that enliven this thrilling, magical adventure. Recommended for both detailed-oriented children and adults. Ages eight and up.

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