The Strange Collection of Mamita

L’étrange collection de Mamita, by Thomas Medard and Lisbeth Renardy

Behind each collection, there’s a collector. And behind each collector, there’s a story to tell!

To collect stuff is the action of gathering a whole lot of objects belonging to one group or family: take Yvette, for instance, who collects all pieces of wood shaped as a Y. And there are as many collections as there are collectors! That’s what Mamita, Yvette’s grandma, explains to her on the way back from school. Throughout the woods, Mamita tells the story of her friend Luigi’s collection, who loves collecting rocks because they help him remembering each moment past. These pretty houses, so nicely decorated, belong to brothers Peter and Pete Junior, who, since an old brother’s spat, compete to show off the best Santa’s and garden gnomes. Sasha, Yvette’s cousin, is crazy about all kinds of luminescent objects, because he’s scared of the dark. How about Mamita? Well, Mamita collects… other people’s collections.

Children have mastered the art of collecting. But many artists, too, have collections (some of the collectors mentioned in the book are real). This poetic relationship between childhood, creation and collectors is what authors have wanted to explore here. Collecting is not just about gathering. It is also a way of thoroughly looking at the world and making a meaning out of it. In one word, it’s about imagining. And that’s exactly what we’re invited to do throughout the coloured, teeming with details paintings by the Belgian illustrator Lisbeth Renardy: to imagine.

Hardcover picture book, 20 x 28.5 cm, 40 pages.