50th Anniversary of Renowned French Children's Publisher L'École Des Loisirs with a Rare Exhibition and Series of Workshops

October 24, 2015 | By French Culture

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of

Renowned French Children's Publisher L'École Des Loisirs
with a Rare Exhibition and Series of Workshops
November 20 through December 20

NEW YORK, October 22, 2015 – On Friday, November 20th the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York will launch a month-long 50th anniversary celebration of French children’s publisher L’École des Loisirs. Festivities include a free, first-ever U.S. exhibition of original drawings by L’École des Loisirs illustrators (Nov. 20-Dec. 20 at 972 Fifth Ave.), curated by writer and blogger Maria Popova and with support from Honorary Chairman and legendary children’s book author and illustrator Tomi Ungerer. Celebrations will also include a series of free kids’ workshops around the city (at Albertine Books, MoMA Design Store in SoHo, and The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn). 

Founded in 1965, L’École des Loisirs fed a timely demand to provide kids with irreverent and boundary-pushing stories. Since then, the publishing house has empowered children to explore and indulge their curiosity. From Magali Bonniol’s Pierre who is stubbornly unafraid of the Cornebidouille witch, to Philippe Corentin’s Zigomar in Africa and Claude Ponti’s tender Pétronille, L’École des Loisirs has taken children on the wildest adventures. The family-owned publishing house gives authors the time and creative freedom to make their best work and puts children’s interests and curiosity before parents’ requirements.

The exhibition at the French Embassy will showcase 17 original L’École des Loisirs drawings and four rare reprints from timeless classics such as Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Zou by Michel Gay and Le plus malin by Mario Ramos. Outfitted with cozy cushions and L’École des Loisirs books to peruse and purchase, the gallery room will provide a unique artistic and literary experience for young minds.

Creative workshops throughout the duration of the exhibition geared toward children of various ages will be led by French and Francophone writers and illustrators including Dorothée de Monfried (Shhh! I’m sleeping, I'd Really Like to Eat a Child, Dark Night), Matthieu Maudet (A Mammoth in the Fridge, Hello, Doctor), Magali Bonniol (Cornebidouille), French-Algerian Malika Ferdjoukh (Le Club de la Pluie, Quatre soeurs), Québécoise Marianne Dubuc (The Lion and the Bird, The Bus ride), and New York-based comic artist Pénélope Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse, Josephine). Curator and Brooklyn-based writer and author of the acclaimed blog BrainPickings.org, Maria Popova, will also moderate a conversation on December 14

Additionally, a silent auction to support the first public high school in New York with a French-English International Baccalaureate Program (grades 6-12) will feature several books by L’École des Loisirs illustrators and take place on December 10 at 972 Fifth Avenue.

The L’École des Loisirs 50th Anniversary Exhibition is made possible by generous support from L’École des Loisirs, Jacadi Paris, l’Institut français, Yves Delorme, Pistache NYC and Michel et Augustin.

A full program of 50th Anniversary of L’École des Loisirs festivities follows.

Program

Exhibition: L’École des Loisirs Celebrates 50 Years
November 20 - December 20 (Mon-Sat: 11am-7pm; Sun: 11am-6pm)
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Original drawings and rare prints from the L’École des Loisirs collection by artists such as Claude Ponti, Yvan Pommaux, and Stéphanie Blake will be on display in a playful and cozy reading nook complete with L’École des Loisirs books for families to peruse.

Workshop: Create Your Own Doggy Book
November 21 at 1pm, ages 3 and up
MoMA Design Store, 81 Spring St., New York, NY
Dive into the world of book publishing and craft your very own story with author-illustrator Dorothée de Monfried (Shhh! I’m sleeping, I'd Really Like to Eat a Child, Dark Night).

Workshop: Building a Story
December 5 at 11am, ages 4 and up
Albertine Books, 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Join French illustrator Matthieu Maudet (A Mammoth in the Fridge, Hello, Doctor) for a special workshop and reading at Albertine Books. Children will be invited to help Maudet construct a story in real time as he creates drawings based on their suggestions.
Co-presented by the French Embassy and Jacadi Paris.

Conversation: Coming of Age Tales
December 7 at 6pm, ages 9 and up
Albertine Books, 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Join author Malika Ferdjoukh (Le Club de la Pluie, Quatre soeurs) and Tommy Wallach (We all looked up) for a fun and engaging discussion on the timeless coming of age tale.

Benefit and Silent Auction for the School for International Studies in Brooklyn
December 10 at 6pm
Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Join us to support the first public high school in New York with a French-English International Baccalaureate Program (grades 6-12). With books specially dedicated by illustrators from L’École des Loisirs. Suggested Donation at the door: $50

Workshop: A Battle of Drawings
December 12, 4-6pm, for all ages
The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY
Watch author and illustrator Matthieu Maudet (A Mammoth in the Fridge, Hello, Doctor), author and comic artist Pénélope Bagieu (Exquisite Corpse, Josephine), Julia Rothman (Hello NY) and other guest illustrators engage in a fast-paced battle of drawings. Free cookies provided by Michel et Augustin.

A Conversation with Illustrators
December 14
Time & Location TBD
Join Magali Bonniol (Cornebidouille) and Marianne Dubuc (The Lion and the Bird, The Bus Ride) for a conversation moderated by Brooklyn-based writer and author of the acclaimed blog BrainPickings.org, Maria Popova.

All events are free, in English, and open to the public.
 

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.

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Media Contact:
Judith Walker
+ 1 (212) 439-1407
 judith.walker@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Frenchculture.org/books - @FrenchBooksUSA
facebook.com/frenchculture

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