Thursday, February 16, 2017

Picture Book: Peau d'âne by Hélène Druvert

UK/France Links

Peau d'âne by Hélène Druvert is one of my recent discoveries, published in France in 2015. The book is available at and but not in

I have a penchant for Peau d'âne picture books which pretty much only come in French since the story is beloved in France but avoided by publishers in other countries due to the possible controversies of the tale of which there are a few. (Not familiar with Peau d'âne? Read Donkeyskin at the SurLaLune primary site.) Which always makes the books even more appealing to me because they are rare to find. This is now one of my favorite renditions. This version also uses minimal text to tell the story, letting the reader take it at face value.

Druvert has a beautiful illustration style--using silhouettes to tell her stories. Every other page in her pictures books--for she has illustrated a few titles--are cut out pages, intricately die cut and designed to overlay the pages between them as you turn the pages. The pages are sturdy on heavy stock paper but still fragile since they are die cut. The results are beautiful.

So in the images below--which you can click to see larger--the left side of the image is the back side of the die cut page.

Other books by Druvert include, with the first two linking to and the second linking to The Mary Poppins and Paris titles also have the die cut pages. I do not know for sure about the other two.


  1. Hello! Thanks for the post. Two things: First for anyone interested in ordering, this is available to order in the US from Albertine bookstore for $23.35--so probably cheaper than ordering with international shipping: Second, I'm writing a dissertation on adaptations of Peau d'ane, and although I'm not concentrating too much on picture books, I'd be interested to know if you have read any in which the story varies significantly from Perrault's version. Since it's hard to get my hands on the picture books in the US, and you already have a few, I'd appreciate if you could point me in the direction of a few titles, if you can. Thanks!

    1. See my comment below, Ann Martin. I didn't hit "Reply" before adding it.

  2. Beautiful picture book art! Ann Martin, would this help? It's from my Appalachian literature/folktale web site at Contact me at if you want more info. "The Princess in the Donkey Skin." In Leonard Roberts (collector). South From Hell-fer-Sartin': Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales. U of KY Press, 1955. Rpt. Berea, KY: The Council of the Southern Mountains, 1964, pp. 69-70. This tale also has more in common with Ashpet, but it is about the princess fleeing from her father's plan to marry her to an ugly faraway king. She is forced to keep her word that she would rather live in a donkey skin than marry. She runs away and stays with an old woman. When the prince comes by, he finds her diamond ring in the soup and her fairy godmother turns her back into a beautiful girl long enough for him to fall in love with her. Later he searches until he finds the girl whose finger fits the ring, then marries her.