Antoinette by Kelly diPucchio

Kelly DiPucchio has won me over – head, heart and soul – with her two enchanting picture books about Gaston and Antoinette. They ooze charm, cuteness (but don’t tell them!) and good humour.

Antoinette continues the very chic tale, that began with Gaston, about these two adorably diverse dog families from Paris. Fee-fe, Foo-fo, Ohh-la-la and Gaston have remained friends with Rocky, Ricky, Bruno and Antoinette, but this time it is Antoinette’s turn to question where she belongs and what she is good at.

It’s not until Ohh-la-la goes missing that Antoinette realises what her special talent is.
When Antoinette not only finds but rescues the missing Ohh-la-la in the nick of time, Mrs Poodle cries out in relief, “You found my Ohh-la-la.” I defy the hardest of hearts not to chuckle at this point!
Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson has illustrated both books with his mixed media collage and acrylic pictures. In a Q&A on Fishink, Robinson says of his artistic influences that,

I’m a bit of a sponge and my work is influenced and inspired by so many illustrators and painters that I love. Illustrators like Ezra Jack Keats and Abner Graboff inspire me to play with collage and cut outs. Designers like Paul Rand and Bruno Munari inspire me to keep things simple and have fun. Artist like Picasso and Mattise push me to explore color and shapes.

Given that I adore the simple designs and complementary colour palette that Robinson uses, I would have to say that he has successfully found his own unique style.

We can only hope that DiPucchio and Robinson have much more to say and illustrate about Gaston and Antoinette, because, I for one, am certainly not done with these two canny canine families.

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