New York in Pyjamarama

Author: Michaël Leblond
Illustrator: Frédérique Bertrand

Age: 4+
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 9781907912122
Publication Date: 25-10-2012
Format: Pb, 320mm x 240mm
Extent: 24 pages

An animated picture book like you’ve never seen before!

The picture book sensation sweeping France has arrived in the UK.

Join our pyjama clad hero as he leaves his bedroom to see the sights of New York at night time. Dodge the traffic, be dazzled by the lights on Broadway and take in the heights of the Big Apple’s dizzying skyline.

Move the piece of acetate slowly across the page and watch the images come to life as if by magic. The book is produced using the very old technique of Ombro-Cinema: the lines imbedded in the design create an illusion of movement when contrasted against the lines of the acetate.

Words are never going to do justice to this title, which is why our YouTube video can be found here.


"A notable curiosity is Frédérique Bertrand and Michaël Leblond’s picturebook New York in Pyjamarama, because sliding a striped acetate rectangle over the images makes them move astonishingly – wheels spin, spirals whirl, and traffic, as seen from the air, moves through the streets."

Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times, (Christmas books of 2012)

"New York en Pyjamarama was the fastest selling picture book of 2011 in France, eventually selling over 100,000 copies, and it is not hard to see why. Created by illustrator Frédérique Bertrand and animator and writer Michaël Leblond, the book is animated thanks to a technique called Ombro-cinema which uses a piece of acetate to bring to life the pictures. This is achieved by the lines embedded in the design mixing with lines on the acetate, which create an illusion of movement. This technique originally dates back from the early twentieth-century and yet it feels new and innovative. In a world where children are used to CGI, 3D and all the rest, it is marvellous and heart-warming to be able to present them with a book that can surprise and bewilder them. My 10 year-old son's reaction said it all: it was a simple and genuine "WOW".

The rhyming text and quirky graphics, all in primary colours, make the story entertaining and great to read aloud. Teamed with those fabulous animations, they create a superb picture book which really is like nothing you are likely to have seen before

It is truly inspired book which will delight avid readers, but also those who might be a bit reluctant: the interactivity is guaranteed to hook them in.

Without a doubt, New York in Pyjamarama is in my top ten of picture books published in 2012. Pure joy!”

Library Mice

New York in Pajamarama is a truly unique book which uses an “Ombro-Cinema” technique to create the illusion of movement …The nature of this illustrative magic is perfect for creating the dynamic movement of city life with its sparking lights, racing taxis, rustling leaves in Central Park, frantic shoppers and dizzying skyscraper-induced vertigo.

It was nearly impossible to get a good photo of my kids reading the book because they loved it so much they kept fighting over who would get to control the animation! I highly recommend New York in Pajamarama, especially for kids who might have a wee bit of trouble sitting still for story time.

What Do We Do All Day

I found this book to be marvellous and highly recommend it ... The great thing about New York in Pajamarama is that readers can open the large book flat to control and enjoy the "magic."

This is not a library book! It's a book to purchase (and I don't say that about many books since I love the library so much).

Storied Cities Books

This a book like no other – or at least no other that I’ve seen. It’s about a boy who explores the city of New York in his magical pyjamas. Quite normal. But where this book comes alive is the fact that the pictures can move with the aid of a magical piece of acetate ... The collaged graphics are all colourful and simple yet carefully composed to sit well when they’re still and come alive when in motion. The book could have been done quite easily as an app, but it wasn’t. It’s a book, a tactile book that needs to be moved around and explored. And that’s what I love about it the most.

Books I Like

Optical illusions suggest blinking lights and churning traffic in this interactive book...the spinning wheels, waving tree leaves, and busy streets should produce the anticipated hypnotic effect, and curious readers will study how the oddly lined pages and striped plastic create the twinkling special effects.

Publisher's Weekly

About the creators...

Michaël Leblond is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Nancy. In 1998, he founded Ithaca, the graphic design studio.  Committed to the principles of popular education, he has held graphic design workshops in partnership with social action groups since 2006. Long fascinated by the processes of creating illusions of movement, he made ​​the discovery at a museum of an old Japanese animation technique: the Ombro-cinema technique that would become the technical basis of pyjamarama animation. Read an interview with Michaël about the creation of Pyjamarama animation here.

Frédérique Bertrand was born in Épinal. After graduating from the l’École des Beaux Arts de Nancy, she lived in Paris and Toulouse before returning to Nancy.  As an author-illustrator, her work is widely published in France and the United States. She has written and illustrated fifteen books wih Rouergue.

Frédérique Bertrand's illustrations, combined with storyteller/animator Michaël Leblond’s ‘magic touch’ and  his ombro-cinema discovery, formed the basis of the France’s fastest selling picture book in 2011, New York en Pyjamarama.

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