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A small square transformed - an ode to fantasy

Round the Block

Judith Vanistendael

In this stunning visual tour-de-force, much-lauded cartoonist and illustrator Judith Vanistendael reinvents herself. ‘Round the Block’ is a picture book without words, in which primary colours and geometric shapes happily move about, rolling and transforming from things into animals and back again. With almost unparalleled inventiveness and with an eye for pure aesthetic and a clean finish, Vanistendael transforms a simple square: from a setting sun into a little man who is frightened out of his wits, from a ghost to a butterfly pupa – all in a logical succession that is breathtakingly fast at times, but slows right down at others.

Vanistendael is drawing at the peak of her powers.
De Standaard on ‘Mikel’

With apparent ease, Vanistendael strings together the colour transitions, shape changes and compositional shifts into a beautifully designed and impressive piece of illustrative art. The illustrator returns to the essence: armed with scissors, glue, paper and a risograph printer, she creates the purest sequence possible. ‘Round the Block’ is an ode to fantasy and Vanistendael’s more than successful debut for a new target audience.

Her illustrations are delicate, intimate and extremely beautiful.
The Guardian on ‘When David Lost His Voice’