Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman, Valerio Vidali, Alix Barzelay


Jemmy Button by Jennifer Uman, Valerio Vidali, Alix Barzelay

Inspired by the life of Jemmy Button - a native of Tierra del Fuego who was brought into England in the mid-1800s to be 'educated' and 'civilised' by British missionaries and explorers - this book illustrates Jemmy's adventures in England, his bizarre and extraordinary encounters there, his experience as an outsider in a new land and culture, and his return back home. This book focuses on the theme of distance and homesickness. With Valerio's precision, and Jennifer's primitive style, such collaboration has resulted in a story unlike any other.


Write up and mentioned as part of the panel selection discussing the best new books for January 2013. a beautifully captured, compelling read . The Bookseller Jennifer Uman and Valerio Vidali have adoringly illustrated this real-life 'My Fair Lady

's work - but with Jennifer only speaking English and Valerio only speaking Italian their friendship was formed using online translators to talk about their ideas. They finally met when they had the idea to illustrate this story together and it is such a beautiful partnership - one of those books where every page could be framed.'

About the Author

Alix lives in Tennessee and teaches creative writing to children. She graduated with an MFA from Sarah Lawrence. This is her first children's book. Jennifer is a self-taught painter. She was born and raised in Southern California and now lives in New York. Her art hangs in the home of Wes Anderson and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize E. O. Wilson. Italian illustrator, Valerio, collaborated with the Center Portuguese of Silkscreen in 2009 as their artist in residence. In 2010 the library system of Milan hosted a travelling exhibition of his works with workshops for children.

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Book Info


48 pages


Jennifer Uman, Valerio Vidali, Alix Barzelay
More books by Jennifer Uman, Valerio Vidali, Alix Barzelay


Publication date

28th January 2013



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