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When he is born, Hiznobyuti is not exactly handsome. In fact, his parents and siblings say, "He's no beauty!" They say it so often, Hiznobyuti assumes it is his name. Wherever he goes, only embarrassment and shame await him. Hiznobyuti hides himself away, working on his inventions, until one day he receives a message from the stars. After a fight with his family, Hiznobyuti 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! When he returns from his journey, Hiznobyuti family rejoices and apologizes for not understanding how beautiful and important he was to them all along.
Praise for My Valley:
"A mix of comical vignettes and broad vistas illustrate an account of the lives and misadventures of a clan of tiny Twims . . . Like Poochie-Blue, visitors to the valley will be in no hurry to leave." --Starred Review, Kirkus
"Ponti's beautiful, intricate illustrations contain strange details hinting at larger stories. The guileless narrative sounds like it came directly from the brain of a child with a vivid imagination..." -- Sarah Hunter, Booklist
"My Valley marks a particularly exciting addition to the world of translated literature... lush with colorful and stark imagery that readers of all ages will find infinite secrets in. This is a truly unique addition to any storybook collection." --Kevin Elliott, 57th Street Books
"Claude Ponti, in my eyes, is one of the most essential authors in the whole of children's literature. His bursting creativity and the wealth of his images incite the almost systematic pleasure of children. The Pontian universe, with its many cultural and artistic references, its themes and its language distinctive of the world of childhood, its originality in its forms, colors, typography, and the arrangement of its scenes, presents an offering of narratives that strongly engage children's emotions and which meet them on the horizon of their expectations. Here children often find the power that a new piece of knowledge or the control of a word bring, which allows them to influence their destiny just a little bit more."
-- Annie Dupin