Books Literary Silk Road - China and Middle East Picture Books Reading Ruminations Reading Themes

[Saturday Reads] Stunning Book Art in Baruzzi’s “A Cut-Paper Book Aladdin”


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.


Happy Fourth of July to our American Friends!

Before I jump right into my post, allow me to greet our American friends and family who live in the US a Happy Fourth of July!

These photos were taken back in 2012 when we spent 4th of July with family in California.


This is our last day celebrating the Literary Silk Road as we are about to launch our new reading theme for July-August tomorrow. I thought that the cut-paper artwork in this gorgeous book would be the perfect way to end our China and Middle East focus for the past two months.


A Cut-Paper Book: Aladdin

Adapted and illustrated by: Agnese Baruzzi
Published by: Tango Books (2014)
Book borrowed from Jurong West Public Library.

Thanks to Disney, the story of Aladdin from Arabian nights is something that most people are familiar with. This story is essentially an adaptation from the Tales of Arabian Nights. The art is hands-down stunning. Here are a few of my favourites from the book:



However, if the reader is unfamiliar with Aladdin’s story, there were several sections that seemed abrupt and could have been built up for greater understanding. An example would be Aladdin’s magical ring which was given to him by his Uncle early on – which proved to be his redemption in the end – could have been mentioned in the beginning for clarity and build-up.


The text here in the book is secondary as the primary focus, here, I believe, is making the story come alive through the shadowy edges, the fine lines, and the intricate lace-like edges that are enough to make any bibliophile sigh in delight – and for that, I commend Agnese Baruzzi’s vision. The book design and the typography are also thoughtfully considered. This is indeed a collectible.



After reading this book, I immediately thought how much of a nightmare keeping and maintaining this kind of book must be for librarians – especially when young children get a hold of the fragile art work.

Do you enjoy collecting cut-paper books? Do you have trouble maintaning them? 

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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