The success of this book lies partly in the interesting choice and juxtaposition of people (including “A Bad Shot” opposite “A Juggler”, “A Sailor” opposite “A Siren”) and partly in its elegant, muted aesthetic (it comes as no surprise to learn that the original French version of this book, L’Imagier des gens (2008), won “Best Book Design of the World” at the 2009 Leipzig Book Fair).
This is a book for book lovers – an object to hold, stroke and muse upon. It’s a picture book adults will enjoy, but most definitely also one for children; my girls have learned a lot of vocabulary from it (even with only a word or two on each page) eg Punter, Hermit, Tagger, but more importantly, they’ve been inspired by it. It resides with our collection of dressing up clothes and has given them just that extra spark to imagine themselves as all sorts of different people.
A book about how people are different and yet similar all around the world, People by Peter Spier is a wonderful celebration of cultural diversity. Its gentle, but powerful message about how our differences make the world a richer place, about how an understanding of these differences supports a more peaceful planet, is a subtext I’m very happy see my kids engaged with.
Both People (Blexbolex) and People (Spier) encourage us to look afresh and see what people share, rather than what divides them. Where Blexbolex is bold and simple, Spier is incredibly detailed, with illustrations I’d recommend to anyone who loves Mitsumasa Anno (for the style of drawings) and Where’s Wally (for the act of observation and searching).
If you and your kids loved You Choose! by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharrat but are now a bit older, then People by Peter Spier will hit a similar spot, with its jam packed pages with lots to choose from and different journeys to take.
Using wooden blanks (these from Baker Ross– they’re currently on offer) we made a couple of sets of people to play with.
The first family were decorated using permanent markers (Sharpies).
The second family were decorated with scraps of wool, fabric, buttons and googly eyes. Googly eyes are like fairy dust. They just transform anything. (Check out Eyebombing if you don’t know what I’m on about!)
Here they are, all lined up ready to go to a party…
Whilst making our people we listened to:
Disclosure: People by Blexbolex was provided to me by the publisher. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion.