A Lion in Paris

Mise en page 1
Alemagna, B. (2014). A Lion in Paris. London: Tate Publishing.

Originally published in French as Un Lion à Paris.

Here is the story of a lion from the grasslands who finds himself unfulfilled and therefore travels into Paris. He delights and prides himself at being the centre of attention and so becomes befuddled when people do not react strongly to his presence on the Métro or pulling up at chair at the famous outdoor spot, Café de Flore. A story of finding oneself, the lion’s journey ends happily in the majestic city.

A large book, about a third of a yard high and longer widthwise, its landscape orientation also has the distinction of opening upwards. The pen and ink drawings and paint are overlaid with collage, making the reader feel like a silent observer. At times the sentimentality of the illustrations arouse a lonely feeling, reflected in the grey and shiny rooftops in the rain. Paris itself is portrayed authentically and humorously as well, such as when the lion puzzles at the swords everyone carrys tucked under their arms. In fact, they are baguettes! Dreamlike, emotive creations that are a touch eerie and very memorable grace each and every oversized page.

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