Little People, Big Dreams
Little People, Big Dreams is a series of books which celebrates the lives and legacies of historic female figures. Focusing on their childhoods, Isabel Sanchez Vegara has penned the series and worked with a host of different illustrators to bring these influential women to life. Here are my thoughts on the latest additions to the series...
Frida Kahlo by Isabel Sanchez Vegera & Gee Fan Eng
Frida Kahlo's life story focuses on her unbreakable positivity and fierce spirit. Highlighting how her battle with illness and injury - which at times left her bedridden and confined to a wheelchair - did not deter her from expressing herself but rather spurred her on, the message behind Frida's story is clear from the off.
As well as a talented painter, Frida is also recognised as a style icon. Her style - which graduated from boyish suits to patterned garments and playful accessories - was anything if not unique. Gee Fan Eng's colourful, hand-drawn illustration (which are packed with clever details such as all the other characters having hair-free foreheads, drawing attention to Frida's iconic brow) are perfect for capturing Frida's style and turn what could have been a downbeat life story into an uplifting storybook. Most unique about Gee's illustrative style is her way of drawing wide-eyed faces. Wide eyes which is this case are linked by Frida's iconic monobrow and beaming with joy.
Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez Vegera & Ana Albero
For most, Coco Chanel is remembered as a giant of the fashion industry so the idea of shrinking her down to an ambitious child is an intriguing concept. The book shows how growing up in a strict orphanage as Gabrielle not only sparked her interest in fashion but also gifted her the rebellious creative spirit and determination which led to her now iconic status. Most of all, the book shows that Coco was not just a talented fashion designer, and should equally be remembered for her love of breaking the mould.
Once again, Ana Albero is the perfect artist to illustrate Coco's story as her style manages to capture both sides of the unique life she led. A muted colour palette and sleek lines depict Coco's glamorous side and sense of fashion whilst the room left for playful patterns and burst of shapes is used to show what Gabrielle brought to the table.