Pablo the Artist
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Kitamura’s latest offering is a great example of his gentle, highly individual humour. Pablo the elephant seems to be suffering from a nasty case of artist’s block in advance of the forthcoming Hoof Lane Art Club exhibition. His fellow artists helpfully suggest that he might benefit from a little ‘plein-air’ landscape work, so Pablo heads off into the countryside to give it a try. Kitamura’s unique, highly articulate line conveys an extraordinary range of expression and gesture and the various contortions of Pablo’s face as he tries to sort out his artistic crisis are an absolute joy. A suitably elephant-sized lunch precipitates an afternoon nap and subsequent events lead to an ingenious solution to the creative block. The author’s incomparably economical approach to characterisation and the endearing fallibility and humanity of his characters makes him one of our (well he’s been here a long time) most popular picture book creators. This is another winner. MS