Her Idea is the new book from illustrator Rilla Alexander. Originally from Australia, now residing in Portland Oregon, Rilla’s work and life have taken her across the world – from illustrating the walls of a Copenhagen Hotel to talking at a design conference in Tokyo. It is her work with children’s publisher Flying Eye Books, however, that has opened up a world of imagination in the adventure of her young alter-ego Sozi, a creative little girl based on a childhood doll by the same name.
Rilla‘s first book The Best Book in the World followed Sozi as she was taken around the world. Rilla describes the book as her “ode to reading” and for me it encapsulates the first time a book truly envelopes you and becomes your world; A good book will stay for you for ever, with the joy of being able to read and relive it whenever you want. During the process of creating this book Rilla moved several times and the project kept her focused during the transition of her personal whereabouts.
Rilla’s second book Her Idea follows Sozi on her second adventure. Sozi is an incredibly creative child and, like many of u,s finds it hard to keep all her ideas in one place and follow an idea to completion. Her idea serves as a narrated self help book for the creative child and explains that struggling with an idea is common but solvable if you take the time to test things out and work through them, as many readers can appreciate.
Both of theses books really speak to the inner child and creative within us. This, teamed with Rilla’s bold and stylish illustrations, send an important message about the creative mind, spoke to me as a creative adult and I can’t help feeling that if I had been introduced to Rilla’s books as a child they would have captured my imagination and helped me out when things just weren’t going as I had imagined.
Rilla’s work is influenced by different cultures, with an homage to Tove Jansson’s work in her use of Nordic palette, block shapes and nymph-like creatures. There is a also taste of Asian culture in the mask that’s affixed to Sozi’s face and a North American vibe to the scenes and landscapes she inhabits. The work Rilla creates is that of a highly-accomplished, well-traveled artist whose work deserves to be treated as something special and sacred – as I’m sure it will be, for many boys and girls both now and in years to come.
Once again, as I’ve come to expect from Flying Eye books, the printing quality and attention to detail is second to none and the book has been given that extra flair with the addition of cut-out covers that transforms the cover into the idea book from within the story. Gorgeous, engaging and right on trend…everything you’d want your mini-selfs to read.