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Hīznobyūtī

Claude Ponti | Translated by Alyson Waters

From Claude Ponti (My Valley, 2017), one of France’s most celebrated children’s writers, comes a tender and playful tale of what it means to be unique.

When he is born, Hīznobyūtī is not exactly handsome. In fact, his parents and siblings say, “He’s no beauty!” They say it so often, Hīznobyūtī assumes that it is his name. Wherever he goes, only embarrassment and shame await him. Hīznobyūtī hides himself away, working on his inventions, until one day he receives a message from the stars. After a fight with his family, Hīznobyūtī decides to run away. On a beautiful adventure by himself, he learns the secrets of the universe: how to communicate with trees and birds, how to wake up the sun, and how to see himself for who he truly is – a hero!


Claude Ponti is one of France’s most celebrated children’s writers and illustrators. His works create captivating fictional universes through wordplay and illustrations of incredible detail and beauty. Ponti found his vocation as a children’s author with the birth of his daughter, Adèle, for whom he created his first picture book, L’Album d’Adèle. He has since won numerous awards, including the 2006 Prix Sorcières Spécial for his lifetime achievement.

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