A gorgeous illustrated adaptation of Robinson Crusoe

One of the first books I got to borrow from the high-school’s library was “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe. The papers had the old and humid smell, the letter was Times New Roman, and the illustrations were mostly black-and-white abstract. The contrast was too much and the composition was too chaotic that I thought “The sun must be scorching there.”

Many years later, I still think that way. Until I stumbled upon the gorgeous illustrations by Matteo Berton, I realised there is much more to the story world. The vastness of the island, the raging sea, the glory of the wilderness are lighten up through a warm and muted colour scheme and the coarse-texture brushstrokes. The mood is balmy and rich the character designs are succinct and expressive. In one moment, the whole story came to my mind more vividly than ever before. This magic is what makes me enjoy and addict to good illustrations so much. They do not only capture the essence of the story, they broaden the content and they can take your mind for a walk to any corner of the story world.

Matteo Berton is an illustrator and a graphic designer based in Pisa, Italy. In the past few years, Berton worked on comics, but nowadays he’s focusing on illustration and graphic design. “Robinson Crusoe” is an adaptation for high-school children from Daniel Defoe’s book, commissioned by ELI publishing, and selected by the Society of Illustrator 2015.


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