The Red Shoes, by Gloria Fowler, illustrations by Sun Young Yoo

Detail of the cover

It’s the lack of color that makes this book.

That’s a lie; the illustrations are gorgeous, and would be equally gorgeous with a little color. But why gild the lily? The fact that they are illustrations for an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’sThe Red Shoes” and that there is NO RED anywhere in the book except for the book cloth (hidden by the matte white dust jacket) is what makes the whole operation a little cheeky. Not too cheeky, just enough so you think you might find a splash of it somewhere, as startling as blood. And when you don’t, you find you are not disappointed.

The Red Shoes: under the dust jacket

On a really beautiful book, I always peek under the DJ, just in case. This time, I was totally rewarded!

Or I did, anyway. I looked at the cover, and thought, “ooh, I bet there’s like one page of red, or a bit of red on each page.” I got so immersed in the gorgeous lines of Sun Young Yoo‘s illustrations and the absolutely beautiful typography that I forgot to check, and by the time I was done, I realized a trick had been played on me. And I loved it. How important is the color red to this story? Answer: really not at all.

ENDPAPERS! Beautiful.

You can't ignore endpapers this pretty.

Look at the type!

Typography

More and more beautyThe Red Shoes was published by AMMO Books in November 2008.

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