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Verte, by Marie Desplechin and Magali le Huche
Book
Graphic novel

#53

Work

1 min

Verte, by Marie Desplechin and Magali le Huche

The comic book Verte tells the story of a little girl destined to become a witch. This planned-out future doesn’t excite Verte in the slightest, who dreams of marriage and a normal life.

© Rue de Sèvres
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Two complementary authors

Marie Desplechin, born in 1959, has published numerous children’s books, including Satin Grenadine (2004), Séraphine (2005) and Aurora’s Journal (“Le Journal d'Aurore”) (2011). She is also the author of novels for adults– Too Sensitive (“Trop sensibles”) (1997), Without Me (“Sans moi”) (1999), Dragons (2004) and One More Step (“Un pas de plus”) (2006). One of her favourite themes is female empowerment.

 

Born in 1979, the illustrator Magali le Huche has a one-in-a-million style, instantly recognizable for its rounded poetry. After studying decorative arts in Strasbourg, she began illustrating regularly for the press and children’s books. The Big Neon Store (“Le Grand Magasin fluo”) (2017), Stop, Mr Pistachio! (“Monsieur Pistache, arrêtez !”) (2017) and Antonella’s Tango (“Le Tango d'Antonella”) ( (2017) are a few of her many works.

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The little witch

Verte is 11 years old and to her great disappointment, she is the daughter and granddaughter of great witches who wish to turn her into a cauldron expert. But Verte doesn’t have a gift for spells and dreams of a normal life with a nice husband. To convert her, she is forced to spend one day a week with her grandmother, Anastabotte. And the results are excellent, even a little too good...

 

A funny and engaging comic book that will delight every girl who doesn’t want to be like her mother.

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Adapting a novel

Marie Desplechin first wrote the story of Verte as a novel, released in 1996, before adapting it into a comic book in 2017.

 

In addition to the subject of complicated mother-daughter relations, which is a recurring theme in Marie Desplechin's work and which is approached here with a great deal of humour and sensitivity, the book also discusses the transition to adulthood and the acceptance of femininity. This is a subject that appealed to Magali le Huche, who, accustomed to illustrating children’s picture books, here takes her first stab at a comic book.

 

The duo thus gives a second life to the character of Verte, who takes shape under the pencil of Magali le Huche. And this is only the beginning for this team: the other two volumes of the series, Mauve and Pome, will also be adapted into comic books.

 

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A trip to witch country

A voyage to the land of witchcraft, full of brooms flying through the sky, magic potions and spells, Verte was nominated for the 2017 Pépites du Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse in Montreuil and is due to be released in Italian translation in 2018. An excellent first step towards international audiences.

 

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The Institut français and the project

Verte (“Green”) is part of the 2018 line-up of works for young readers selected for the “Pépites internationales”.

 

This selection is offered by the Institut français and the Salon du Livre et de la Presse Jeunesse in Montreuil to young French learners worldwide.