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Imagination and kindness are at the centre of this vintage children's book


Be charmed by this piece of vintage storytelling 


Originally published in 1958, Roland by Nelly Stéphane & André François is a whimsical story that captures your imagination and your heart. The vintage drawings take you back to a time of simplicity and innocence. The duo writing/illustrator team were quite legendary. Nelly Stéphane was a French writer and famous graphic designer and illustrator, whereas André François art and illustrations graced many covers of the New Yorker magazine. Did you also know that he studied with Picasso? Small world indeed. 


In this book, the story centres around a boy called Roland who finds himself in situations where he has nothing to do. To pass the time, he starts to draw things, which immediately come to life as soon as he says "CRACK". 

When the teacher sends him to the corner because he is late for school, Roland draws a tiger. The tiger becomes real and stretches out in front of the teacher, who informs him that there's no room in the classroom for him. Without another word, the tiger leaves the classroom.

Roland finds himself in the classroom alone again, while the other kids are out at recess. Bored once more, he draws a zebra, which he sticks on the window. As the other kids are play outside, one of their snowballs smashes into the window, and "CRACK" it goes. Guess what? The zebra comes to life. 

And so it goes. One after another, all the things Roland draws come to life and start to cause a bit of a mayhem. Things take a bit of a crazy turn, when Roland meets his friend Isabel who's sporting a fur coat. When the coat comes to life and turns into many little furry animals after Roland touches it, which unfortunately leads to him being arrested thrown in prison. 

But it all works out in the end, when kindness prevails. A kind, genuine gesture from Roland to Isabel, sets the world back in order. He presents Isabel wit his beloved shiny fish (which isn't shiny any more, and suddenly magical things happen. This act of kindness, suddenly makes the fish shine again. And when Roland returns home, he receives another happy surprise. His zebra and the two donkeys have come back home again. Life is good. 

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