by Giovanna Zoboli, Camilla Engman

Troppo Tardi

Camilla Engman has many amazing projects going on that I need to mention: her annual calendar has just been released, a polar bear baby sheet is now available, and she is working on a gorgeous installation for a school auditorium. If that wasn’t enough, Camilla also illustrated this children’s book Troppo Tardi (Too Late), which was recently published by one of my favorite picture book publishers Topipittori. This edition is in Italian, but there’s also a French version. Since I didn’t get to translate the story yet, here’s what the publisher says it’s about: “A relentless, funny, surreal fantastic tale on children’s immense desires: their insatiable lust for adventure and magic and, at the same time, their immense need for love and protection.” Camilla’s illustrations are both adorable and sophisticated. With very few details and muted palettes her characters have incredible personality and are undoubtedly lovable. I can imagine them coming to life, soft and friendly. She combines flat color and line art and textures in many different combinations. You notice smaller special details after spending time on a spread: a little tiny bird with a top hat sits on some hanging flags, the texture of a character’s clothes are made of cut outs of a handwritten scrawled note, another character wears a very tiny bow tie. These fun additions make me stay on each page for a while so I can be continually surprised by their cleverness. Much of Camilla’s work has a bit of a dark side to it, so it’s exciting to see that she can adapt her style so well for children. Check out this book and order a copy here.

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