Entries Tagged as 'Picturebook Therapy'

The Colour Thief: A Visually Stunning Story About the Nature of Happiness and the Power of Small Acts of Kindness

June 8, 2016

Every so often, a picturebook comes along that captures the art form perfectly. The Colour Thief, by Gabriel Alborozo, is such a picturebook: with minimal text, simple drawings and an explosion of colours, it takes us on a journey with Zot, an alien creature who lives in a colourless planet and decides to visit the Earth in order to experience its multicolour splendor.


Alborozo’s illustrations are  simple yet engaging, capturing beautifully the wonders of our world and an array of emotional transitions.

Upon coming to Earth, Zot realizes that living in a colourful world is wonderful, and after deciding against moving to Earth due to all of his friends that are waiting for him back home, he chooses to steal all the colour and take it with him.


Zot, mesmerized by the colourful surroundings, kept stealing colours.


“Zot stole all the colours…

calling them to him…

until every last colour…

had disappeared.”


Despite leaving everything grey and colourless, Zot doesn’t realise the consequences of his actions until he sees a boy walking down the hill with an orange balloon. Zot steals that colour too, but right before leaving he looks down and the sight of the sad boy in a grey planet changes his mind.

Zot decides to return the colours and readers are graced with a stunning celebration of colours dancing on page.


Despite the fortunate turn of events for Earth, Zot’s expression tells a different story. Consideration for others outweighs his desire to create a colourful world for him and his friends and of course Zot decides against taking things that aren’t his, yet Alborozo paints an honest emotional state for Zot and a sincere depiction of desire: doing the right thing isn’t always great nor does it make us feel elated, joyful or delighted. It can leave us feeling sad, disappointed, wanting.

As we turn the page, however, a heartwarming sequence of frames renders us witnesses of the power of a small act of kindness.

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What emerges is a gentle reminder that happiness is often found in the tiniest, seemingly meaningless things and that even the smallest acts of kindness have transformative power.

The Colour Thief by Gabriel Alborozo (2014) is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Lions do not eat catfood

July 6, 2015

I am on a mission. And the mission is to make you realise that whatever you need to know in this life, you are going to learn it from a picturebook. The truth is that I read an amazing storybook recently and I wanted to share the story with you. It’s about Clemence who wants a pet, but her parents are very clear, ‘Neither a cat, nor a dog!’ So Clemence, being very obedient, brings a lion. Unapologetically funny scenes follow:

Her mom decides to move out of country at the mere sight of the lion.

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Clemence takes good care of the lion, but when lions have to go, they do not settle for small potties.


And, isn’t it apparent? Everyone loves that lion.

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 Clemence does not have to worry about buying special food for the feline. And this is what has raised criticism among some parents: that the lion provides itself with the food it needs. And it is definitely not cat food. Or oat biscuits.

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Personally, I loved this story because of its humour, the irony between words and pictures and that the writer did not try to domesticate the lion or turn it into something it is not. It let it be itself and wander in Clemence’s universe being exactly what it was.

There are so many avenues one could go with this book, but if I were to focus on the lion’s character, it seems that this storybook is such a great reminder to be unapologetically yourself. Love yourself, take care of yourself, let yourself love what they love.

As Chris Brogan says: Don’t settle: Don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you‘re not on the right path, get off it.

A lion won’t eat cat food, why should you?

I read the story in Greek, in translation from the French Les Lions Ne Mangent Pas De Croquettes, by André Bouchard from Ekdoseis Diaplasis

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