Why did we use silhouettes in our book? It was really our brilliant illustrator who thought of creating Mimi and Papi as a silhouette. When Yuki showed us the original illustration, Mindy and I loved it! We loved it because we thought Mimi could be a character that all children can identify with regardless of their race or culture. We also loved how Mimi and Papi contrasted again the vibrant colors of the book. What I have always found fascinating is that how Mimi’s emotions can be read so easily without the specifics of facial features (e.g. Mimi crying). How did your child react to seeing Mimi’s features at the end of the book? Many children love seeing Mimi at the end which adds to the excitement of her finally getting her balloon back! Encourage your child by engaging in conversation with them and encourage commenting.
What are silhouettes? Silhouettes are pictures of something showing up as a dark shape on a light background. According to dictionary.com, “From 1750-1850, it was least expensive way of creating a portrait. The name comes from Étienne de Silhouette, Louis XV’s finance minister, notorious for his frugality and his hobby of making cut-paper shadow portraits. In 17th-century Europe, shadow portraits and scenes were produced by drawing the outline cast by candlelight or lamplight; when paper became widely available, they were often cut out freehand directly from life.”
Carryover Activity: Create a silhoutte of your child! Draw their profile on black paper and then cut it out. Glue or tape it on a white background and you will have your own silhoutte.