Spanish / Mexico
Una cabeza distinta
(A different head)
Carrer, Chiara (illus.)
Zapopan, Jalisco: Petra Ediciones, 2018. –  p.
Diversity | Social norms | Identity | Self-discovery | Freedom | Picture book
White Ravens issue: 2019
Reading age: 8+
Children’s books on topics like diversity or identity sometimes come off as rather belaboured. Not so in the case of this somewhat loopy, profound story, whose text and pictures both arrest one’s attention. The protagonist, a boy, has the somewhat obsessive habit of constantly completing the strangest calculations and of dissecting the world into numbers and units. He also has the feeling that he is carrying the wrong head on his neck and is actually supposed to have a very different one. With time he notices that everyone appears to be changing their heads. The child psychologist he visits also happens to be wearing a polar bear head, and his assistant that of a penguin. In the end, an eccentric “head merchant” secures the right mathematician’s head for the child. In the meantime, another child is wearing the protagonist’s former head and seems well pleased with it. I am many, and the possibilities to be something are infinite – this is the quintessence of Luis Panini’s story, whose off-kilter humour Chiara Carrer captures in her diversified and versatile illustrations.