If you come to the library on Saturday, April 27, don’t be surprised to hear some French or English with a strong French accent. The Princeton Public Library, in collaboration with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., welcomes one of the most popular French illustrators for children: Olivier Tallec.
At 11 a.m. by the second floor fireplace, Tallec will offer an exciting presentation for children ages four and up and their families—French language skills not required. He will draw pictures while a librarian reads a story aloud. Tallec will explain how illustration works and answer questions. And if you would like a souvenir of this meeting, a selection of his books will be available for sale, courtesy of Princeton’s jaZams.
I remember the first time that I discovered his famous series, "Rita and Whatsit" (in French, "Rita et Machin"). I was in France, in the library where I worked, shelving some pictures books when my eyes met two cheeky eyes and a strange dog with a red patch. I could feel Rita’s energy and the Whatsit’s laziness. I could feel that they were full of ideas for transforming their world with funny adventures (that parents would not find such a good idea), and I was not wrong! Since that moment, I just loved the crazy characters, drawn by Olivier Tallec, and their adventures, written by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod.
After that, I started to follow Olivier Tallec’s work and discovered how talented he is, with books such as "Big Wolf and Little Wolf," "The Scar," "Gus is a Fish," "Thumbelina of Toulaba," and more recently, "Waterloo and Trafalgar." Here is the library’s collection of books illustrated by Tallec, in English and in French.
With clean lines, Tallec captures all of the emotions and personalities of his characters. His illustrations are expressive and powerful. Olivier Tallec doesn’t just illustrate a text; he adds his personal view of the story. "Waterloo and Trafalgar" doesn’t have even one line of text—the illustrations stand alone.
But Tallec’s talent is not only reserved for picture books. He is a man of many interests, providing art for graphic novels like "Negrinha" and "Les Grands Soldats" (not translated in English), as well as for some French newspapers.
So if you want to discover a talented French artist, I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to meet the award-winning Olivier Tallec. Join us!
For more details, please visit the events calendar.
(Written by Caroline Mechinaud, a visiting librarian from France, who is currently interning at Princeton Public Library.)