By Etienne Delessert
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618569878, 32pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2006
List Price: $17.00*
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For hundreds of years, children have delighted in reciting the classic nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty’s fall. Over the centuries there have been many different interpretations, but some speculate that it was originally a riddle: What could fall and break, but could not ever be repaired?” An egg is certainly one possible answer.
Renowned artist Etienne Delessert considers instead the wall, and how walls can become a division between society’s haves” and have-nots.” In his haunting and beautiful rendition, Delessert tells the story of King Humpty Dumpty and his lavish paradise, raising questions about the walls we build between each other and the perils they pose, not only to those excluded, but often to the wall-builders themselves.
Etienne Delessert was born in 1941 in Switzerland. For more than thirty years the self-taught artist has been translating his and the world's ideas, passions, fantasies, and nightmares into the visual language of books, magazine illustrations, posters, animated films, paintings, and sculptures. His imaginary creatures and landscapes juxtapose chaos and order, the familiar and the fantastic, the serious and the joyous, to clarify this world and create new and surprising universes. Delessert has illustrated more than eighty books, including collaborations with avant-garde playwright Eugene Ionesco and renowned psychologist Jean Piaget. His internationally acclaimed books have been translated into more than fifteen languages and have garnered numerous awards and distinctions, including ten gold medals from the American Society of Illustrators. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, designer Rita Marshall, and their son Adrien.