The Lines On Nana’s Face
Written and Illustrated by Simona Ciraolo
Published by Flying Eye
Arguably the best picture book of 2015 was Simona Ciraolo’s Whatever Happened to My Sister? A gorgeously illustrated tale, told from an unusual perspective.
Ciraolo’s 2016 entry, The Lines On Nona’s Face, follows a similar template: Beautiful watercolours tell a familiar story, but in a slightly left of centre manner.
In this case, a bonding ritual between a young girl and her grandmother, with Nana relaying some of her most notable life events to her grand-daughter, using the wrinkles and lines on her face as jumping-off points. “And what about this?” asks the little girl. “This is the best picnic I have ever had by the seaside,” replies Nana, followed by a wordless two page spread depicting a young Nana by the water with her friends, the wind blowing their picnic away while they all laugh and smile.
And this is they way the book unfolds: Question, answer, wordless two page spread. This is also the minor problem with The Lines On Nona’s Face: The wordless two page spreads make the narrative feel quite light. They make the whole affair feel a bit like a framework for the images, rather than a fleshed out, fully formed story book.
The artwork remains breathtakingly well done, but The Lines On Nona’s Face is a bit of an minor work, though still worthwhile.
Kinderlit requested and received a copy of The Lines On Nana’s Face in exchange for an honest review. For our full review policy, read HERE.