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Passo Davanti [Me Ahead!]
A walk towards independence


They were three. Leon the big one, Max the second one, and Remi the littlest.

These are the three characters animating this surreal story by Nadine Brun-Cosme, back together with Oliver Tallec after their brilliant work with the trilogy ‘Big wolf, little wolf’.

The story
Three friends, a furry, dog-like creature, a young child (both with a funny forelock covering the eyes), and a little bunny walk in a row, taking turns to hold a gift box, through very different landscapes at different times of the day following a red balloon.
It’s an impossible walk from one Continent to the other, in a sort of child-sized theatre of the absurd.
There is Paris at dawn, the Cote d’Azur, the sunny French countryside, the savanna, a dark tropical forest, a southern city with the laundry hanging out in the streets, New York City and London too.
Leon is at the front, telling the other two about the beauty and dangers of the world around them.
But at some points Max and Remi will feel like changing the rules, and will go ahead of the little group.
Where are they going? Will the new order work?
These are the two main questions that we have while reading the book until they reach their destination,
[spoiler]
a birthday party full of children and colourful balloons, walking together side by side.
Not so absurd after all:)

This is a very unusual book, with an utterly original story reinforced by Tallec’s  vivid illustrations.
I love books that leave us with some doors open, with room for interpretation, avoiding to feed us with a pre-packed moral.  Are the three characters friends, peers?
Did the author create a metaphor of the relationship between peers, sibling or parents-child?

It's definitely a walk towards independence , but there is no clear-cut outline of the picture.
The process is described well though.
There is attachment and sense of safety fostering self-confidence in the little ones, and then curiosity about the world, tentatives and errors, until they finally manage to walk without a barrier, finding their identity and a new balance together.

The metaphor of the road crossing touched me particularly and I think it will resonate with any parent.
I still feel bit of fear combined with pride and bitterness now that my daughter often runs ahead of me, alone. She feels safe enough to look at the world with her eyes.

Sadly the book has not been translated in English yet (if someone is in the process of, which I would expect, let us know:)

Passo davanti [2017]
by Nadine Brun-Cosme
Illustrated by Oliver Tallec
Italian edition by Coccole Books
Reading age: 3+
Themes: Independence, Siblings, Self-development, Friendship, Relationship with others






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