Review of Yan and Gwendal Le Bec’s Danny

By / Sep 27th, 2014 / / No comments

Danny is the first collaborative children’s book by brothers Yan and Gwendal Le Bec. Since finishing their studies – Yan at Royal College of Art, London, and Gwendal at L’ecole Superieure des Arts Appliques Duperre, France – both brothers have separately established themselves in the European illustration scene. Yan has been commissioned by big names such as Esquire and King’s College London while Gwendal has written and illustrated several children’s stories and contributed to international newspapers: The New York Times and The New Yorker.

The pair have worked closely for years on projects such as News of the Times, a website which they launched to display their illustrated interpretations of international news, and they have now come together to bring you Danny’s story.

You will be glad the pair did unite when you read the quirky tale they have conjured up. The book tells the story of Danny, a big hippopotamus who heads to the big city to find a dentist to fix the gap between his teeth. The funny thing is, he only thinks he has a problem as, not entirely understanding what one is, he diagnoses himself with a lisp after Steve the snake tells him he “sthpeaks thrangely”. Hilarity ensues as a silly hippo gets braces, a careless dentist meets an untimely end and a clever crocodile finds an unlikely new profession.

The Le Bec brothers bring Danny’s world to life using loose, inky lines on top of a colour-washed backdrop. Disproportionate, lanky humans with long noses are the perfect addition to this unique style of illustration.

With humorous, onomatopoeic language, brilliantly playful illustrations and lustrous paper – Danny is a feast for all the senses (or it can be if you get the voices right!).

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