One thing is certain about Dimitris Baslam.
The armor he has worn since he was a small child, he says, comes off with great difficulty.
Although there were times when he thought he got rid of her, it took seeing her in someone else's eyes to remind him of her existence.
Fortunately, over the years, he learned how to see it more clearly and then remove one by one the pieces of which it is made.
He also learned how to let the people he loves take away from him.
And then, he decided to write a story about it.
For a toddler and the soft warm sweater he always wore.
Even in summer.
He also introduced us to a new illustrator, Chrysos Charalambous, who brought his thoughts to life with her lively and extremely fresh images.
The sweater. A story about the fears, insecurities and loneliness we carry from small children.
Recommended age: 5+ years
Children's Illustrated Book Award
The State Prize for Illustrated Children's Book is awarded by a majority to the illustrator Chrysos Charalambous and the author Dimitris Baslam for the work entitled The Sweater , Kaleidoscope publications, 2019.
It is an allegorical story that has at its core a simple idea, and, at the same time, a great truth, which is narratively captured through both words and illustrations.
The story, with simple speech, without chatter, talks about the fears, the procrastination, the insecurities, in which we get comfortable and do not dare to change and ultimately move forward as people. The sweater, which is the security of the hero of the book, is undone and its thread is transformed into something else, useful for a fellow human being; so the owner of the sweater, through this process, evolves, is freed from the loneliness, the insecurity, which as weights held him back, he matures and opens up to the world.
Aesthetically expressed through clean, simple images with bright colors, the illustration goes hand in hand with and interacts with the text; sometimes complementing or commenting on it, creating images that can be read on a second level. The changes from living room to living room keep the interest undiminished and create little surprises. Already from the cover, with the small embossed squares, which hint at the texture of the knitting, and from the pattern of the blanket, which represents the unraveled thread, and which is skilfully repeated in some of the images, it foreshadows us, while the colors in some key points function symbolically.
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