One Yellow Ribbon
One Yellow Ribbon
In 2017, Marthe Jocelyn created a pair of wordless board books, One Piece of String (https://www.umanitoba.ca/cm/vol23/no36/onepiece.html) and One Red Button (https://www.umanitoba.ca/cm/vol23/no36/onepiece.html). As in the two earlier books, these two titles, Yellow Ribbon and One Patch of Blue also each feature an object as the central character.
When young readers/viewers first meet the objects in Jocelyn’s opening collage, they are both “doing” what they are “supposed” to do: the yellow ribbon is holding a girl’s braids in place while the blue patch is covering a hole in the knee of a boy’s blue jeans. However, Jocelyn foreshadows that the ribbon and the patch will not be maintaining those “traditional” pragmatic roles as one of the two yellow ribbons has become undone and is flying off the page while the patch has become unstitched and is floating away. Over the next 21paper collage illustrations, some single pages and others double-page spreads, the ribbon and the patch are transformed. Among its many transformations, the ribbon becomes a lion’s mane, mustard on a hotdog, chopsticks, a pencil, a winter scarf, a flower and a flute. The blue patch also finds new life as a ferris wheel gondola, the blue sky, water in a fish tank, a snowman’s hat, one of the lenses in 3-D glasses, a dog’s name tag and a recycle box.
Like the two earlier board books, Jocelyn’s collages continue to be alive with colour and textures, and they invite their young viewers to not just locate the repurposed ribbon or patch but to explore the pages’ details.
As I said in reviewing Jocelyn’s two earlier titles, though the books’ board book format suggests a preschool audience, art teachers in schools might want to acquire Yellow Ribbon and One Patch of Blue to use as exemplars for divergent artistic thinking.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.