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A Story to Tell

 Dick Bruna

This is my favourite Bruna book. Bruna needs no introduction: Miffy has infiltrated every corner of the world and has branched off into every piece of merchandise possible. Disney must be spitting chips that Bruna refuses to sell the rights. Bruna himself comes from a very privileged position in the publishing world: his grandfather and father built a publishing empire which nearly at one point had a bookstore at every Dutch railway station. So, unlike many creatives who often wonder how they will buy their next packet of pencils, Bruna was pretty comfy, materially and connection-wise.

The graphic simplicity of Bruna's style makes it a joy to view. This simplicity bleeds into the text and I find that the whole effect of reading a Bruna book very calming. In a story to tell a little boy finds an unhappy garden gnome on his walk, takes him home and they become buddies.

There are no words in this one, only images. I am thinking that Bruna may have been the one to create the concept of the logo: his images are so simple...two lines with a head peeping out denotes someone in bed, soap is a yellow rectangle with a few drops around it, morning is a rooster head with beak open. And I adore it all: I could frame every picture and put it up on may wall.

Add to this a cute storyline: Little guy finds and even littler guy, they become mates and life is grand. I am not a huge fan of wordless books but this one does it for me.

Where to buy: This was first published in 1968 and my copy is 1977. You could probably buy it at the Bruna shop in Amsterdam in Dutch, but having checked out the shop a few years ago, I found it very pricey, as is a plane ticket. Not sure if there are any new English copies circulating but you can certainly pick some up second-hand from Amazon. I have even see a copy on Etsy, which I thought was an art/craft sales site but maybe they are winging it as an artistic product.

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