Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can't you see, these two blinds are awesome!

Mickey and Mini Mouse, Despereaux, Ratatouille, (Tom's) Jerry, Stewart Little, Mighty Mouse, Town and Country Mouse, Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and Olivia (okay, they just look like a mouse): the mouse is one of the most easy-to-love characters in children's books. In portraying the character through mouse personification, the illustrator's challenge is to offer a fresh approach to this very common technique. The picture book, Dalawang Dagang Bulag (Two Blind Mice) written by Rodolfo Desuasido and illustrated by Rommel Joson, takes us into a new dimension of portraying the discerning adventures of two blind mice.  

Enter Mission Impossible theme as the two daredevils strut their stunt. What a fun scene, reminds me of how we used to make toy parachutes out of figurines or stones and some plastic bags. I bet the illustrator did that too.  

I just love how the illustrator makes us, the viewer, part of the scene. It's like we have shrunk as we're backing up these two action stars and watch them how it's done. This illustration's perspective is unusual and refreshing, it feels like watching a real animated film.  

In children's book illustration, sometimes the atmosphere of the scene is enough to tell the essence of a story. For example, in this scene, I can understand how the illustrator left the details and instead create an impression of the surroundings. This Impressionistic painting-like establishes the country mood setting of the story as if you can smell the freshness all around, except that it's lithographic ink (lol). That painterly style suggests a profound level of aesthetics and simply implies that we should tap our senses more if we have been blind to the beauty that we see around us.  

This composition is very interesting, your view shifts simultaneously from above and below. The foreground vibrates with the background, literally hitting two birds (or mice?) with one stone. How fitting this illustration is! 

The cover reminds me of the Indiana Jones title. The illustrations in the Two Blind Mice indeed present a new perspective in portraying the character as a mouse.

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