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Delicate Butterfly Paper Wings on a Japanese Folding Screen: Madama Butterfly by Benjamin Lacombe

Madama Butterfly by Benjamin Lacombe is a literature and art treasure: a true gift for all humankind!

Alexis Ibarra-Ibarra

Let’s start with a Raspberry Fairy Cake and a sip of #BritishBreakfastTea [more like an entire tiny cup of Italian Espresso or a cup of Japanese Green Tea]. Madama Butterfly is one of the most famous opera by Giacomo Puccini. Puccini based this opera in the short story Madame Butterfly by John Luther Long, Madame Chrysanthème by Pierre Loti, and some events that happened in Nagasaki during the 1890’s.

As British as this article can become, last year, when we were kind of free, I went into Harleys (the exquisite British toy store). They were selling a lot of amazing toys and, as a geek and as someone that is very in touch with her inner child, I was amazed by all the exclusive things you could find in there.

Anyway, after fangirling with a lot of delightful and cool stuff, I found a tiny book section almost on my way out. They had incredibly artistic illustrated editions of a lot of children’s classics and many informative/scientific volumes (also beautifully illustrated). I fangirled so hard in that section, just as much as when I found the area dedicated to videogame’s figures. As a bookworm, writer, and an artist, this tiny shelf was full of treasures just for me. Sadly, most of them were out of my budget, so with despair and resignation, I left the store without any of those beautiful works of art.

Luckily for me, my sister was around and got me one of those gems for my birthday. Which one did she pick? Madama Butterfly by Benjamin Lacombe. Lacombe based his work in Puccini’s opera, of course, but gave it a new, fresh perspective with his stunning illustrations and format. This work of literature is lined with a satin fabric and has ribbons to close it with a cute bow (as cute as you can knot it).

And it’s truly fantastic that you can close it with a [gift] bow since this book is a genuine present to humankind. The illustrations are delicate and truthful to traditional Japanese style without abandoning Lacombe’s signature.

But that’s not all!

This story has an exciting format. Instead of being a traditional book where you just flip the pages, Madama Butterfly is presented as a folding screen, which intensifies the feeling of reading a Japanese story. Each of the drawings of the book is unique, tasteful, elegant, and polished. If you are a bookworm and an art lover, you will love this book, so if you manage to get your hands on a copy, you should definitely buy it! You can always Amazon it although there is something special about getting a book from a book store or, in this case, in a toy store.

Advice: you should drink some Japanese tea while reading it, but be careful of not spill it: it would be a great loss for humankind!

There are no pictures from the inside because it deserves to be a pleasant surprise.

The featured image was taken by the author.

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