The reader has the last word

Isol and Ulla Rhedin.

Isol and Ulla Rhedin.

Yesterday was another busy day for Isol at the Göteborg Book Fair. By lunch, she had already made four appearances, among them conversations with illustrator Gunna Grähs and Ulla Rhedin, member of the ALMA jury.

Gunna Grähs and Isol talked about how Isol changes formats and techniques between books. The choice of an unusual book format is never a show-off, Isol assured. Instead, it’s always done for narrating purposes. In the case of It’s Useful to Have a Duck, Isol simply realized that the only way she could make the story about the little boy and the duck work, was to use this accordion-fold format. The way Nocturno is printed, with glow-in-the dark ink, it allows the reader to be active: With a flashlight, and by guessing how the image will change after the light is turned off. And the last page is devoted for the reader to create her or his own dream. (All of the fair visitors who have asked for this particular book also got comforting news – it is to be published in Sweden soon!)

For Ulla Rhedin Isol explained how image and text comes to her at the same time, and how one inspires the other in her creative process. When the text says one thing, the picture sometimes tells the opposite. “The reader has the last word” as Isol puts it.

We also got to know that Isol, in the work with her forthcoming book, again has added elements that she never tried before. And that the book is going to be her longest so far, “around 54 pages, it seems”.

Isol and Gunna Grähs.

Isol and Gunna Grähs.

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