The Onions Great Escape
written by Sara Fanelli
Phaidon Press | ISBN 9780714857039
Paperback – 68 pages
Member’s price: $26.96
Usually ships within 2–11 business days.
Sara Fanellli's book breaks all the rules: with its unique layout and construction, it is designed to be experienced, like a performance or a game. This is a book that positively demands interaction: by the time a young reader has finished it, the book they started out reading no longer exists in the same form.
The story revolves around a resourceful and inquisitive young onion who is trying to escape a most unpleasant fate – ending up in a hot frying pan. Appealing directly to you, the reader, the onion asks a series of questions requiring responses to be written or drawn on the pages of the book, which will eventually her escape her horrible fate. Having worked your way throughout the book, collecting puzzles along the way, you the reader are then encouraged to literally free this character from the book: each page features the perforated outline of an onion (the front and back cover of this paperback book included), so you can pop out the onion out. The end result is a three-dimensional figure that stands up on its own (the two 'ends' can be fastened with a special tab), leaving behind an onion-shaped hole in a book filled with text and drawings you have added yourself.
Starting with 'Who are you?' – a query that quickly turns out to be less straightforward than it first appears – the onion asks the reader simple yet profound questions as the book progresses. Topics the nature of time and memory, truth and fiction, love and hate, good and evil ('How is time different in your dreams?' 'How many types of happiness are there?' 'Can someone bad do something good?'). By teasing out information, opinions and ideas in these 'Question & Answer' sections on different themes, Fanelli encourages her young reader to use his or her imagination when thinking about complex issues. At the same time, she continues to let the onion tell its own story, giving the character a quirky, distinctive voice of her own.
Fanelli creates beautiful, colourful multi-layered paper collages, which she combines with her own distinctive hand-written text as well as type-set elements.