La La La

This largely wordless picturebook is about connecting with others. Whilst the focus is song, represented by the ‘La La La’ of the title, the narrative is about reaching out, communicating, overcoming loneliness and finding hope.

The page layout owes something to comics, as, although it doesn’t use an explicit panel layout, it implies one. The central character, a small girl, may appear a number of times on each page, each image expressing a different moment or movement, like a transition from one comic panel to the next.

The girl initially sings alone, on pages coloured in soft grey watercolour washes on textured paper, as if in a room. Her voice falters and she walks off across the pages. The natural world, which brings colour into the narrative, appears initially in the form of red leaves which she runs towards, eventually resulting in her stepping out of the room into a woodland coloured in yellows, browns, greens and reds, adding stencils to the washes. As she wanders through this landscape it changes and she makes some attempt at singing. However, the lack of response disillusions her and she returns to her room. She re-enters the landscape at night, establishing a richer colour scheme of blues and purples, but singing to the moon brings no response. Finally, the next day she is awoken by the sun singing to her as it rises, and she bathes joyously in both golden light and song, connected at last.

Offers lovely artwork and scope for discussion.