Tucson Festival of Books

Balint Zsako (he/him/his)

Natalie Matutschovsky

Balint Zsako was born in Budapest, Hungary to a textile artist mother and a sculptor father. His family immigrated to Canada when he was 10 years old. At university, he studied photography, but for the last 20 years, he has been exhibiting paintings and collages. "Take This Waltz," a film by Sarah Polley, features his drawings, and his illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's and The New York Times Magazine. "Bunny & Tree" is his first picture book. He lives in Los Angeles with his family.

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Scheduled events:
Balint Zsako
BUNNY & TREE is a gorgeous wordless adventure story about a rabbit and a tree, their surprising friendship, and the distance they go to find a place to call home. Bunny and Tree first meet when the tree observes a ferocious wolf threatening the bunny and comes to its protection. From that moment on, there is a bond of trust between the two, which flowers not only into friendship, but amazingly, into a road trip adventure, when Bunny, who's looking for his rabbit friends, convinces Tree that it's time to uproot and see the world. Compelled by sympathy and a shared purpose, Bunny and Tree hit the road, becoming another tremendous and memorable picture book odd couple. Depicted in bright colors in a world of lavish skies and so much to see, Bunny and Tree share in wonder, adventure, misadventure, solidarity, and a sense of homecoming. “An epic folktale told with the quiet beauty of an illuminated manuscript. Balint Zsako is a visual poet.” —Nicholas Blechman, Creative Director, The New Yorker “Stories like these use a magical language that is extremely powerful to children, and leave an imprint on who we are and how we go about the rest of our lives. We all remember reading Where the Wild Things Are or The Giving Tree or perhaps seeing the films of Miyazaki. Bunny & Tree speaks to us in much the same way—silently powerful, charmingly beautiful and forever memorable. I won’t ever forget this book.” —Brian Rea, artist & author (Death Wins a Goldfish, Avoid This, illustrator for the New York Time’s Modern Love column) "This is an incredibly moving and magical book. I loved it." —Sheila Heti, New York Times bestselling author (Pure Color, A Garden of Creatures) "This is a masterpiece of a book, rich with imagination and the most stunning artwork. I have followed Balint’s work for years because of its beauty and complex conceptual imagery, which shines in this book too. It's a story of friendship, kindness, generosity, regrowth and courage, a truly heartwarming tale we all could benefit from right now. " —Julia Rothman, illustrator & New York Times columnist (The Real Dada Mother Goose, Scratch)

Enchanted Lion Books, Booth #109 (Seats 1)
Sat, Mar 4, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Children / Teens

Author: Balint Zsako
Visual Narratives: Creating Voice in a Wordless Book
Visual narratives use only visual images to powerfully tell a story. The voice in these books is found in the visual images rather than in words. In this session, three creators of wordless books, who range from a Caldecott winner to first-time creators, share their strategies for creating a strong voice for characters through visual images.

Education Room 333 (Seats 44, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 5, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Children / Teens
Signing area: Signing Area - Children (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Matthew Cordell, Daniel Vandever, Balint Zsako
Moderator: Magdalena Castillo-Cockrum
Illustrator Studio: Illustrating with Dip Pen and Ink
Balint Zsako creates illustrations with ink, drawn using a dip-pen over washes of acrylic ink or watercolor. He will share the different steps of the process and his preferred materials, provide a demonstration and invite participants to try out the dip pen.

Education Room 437 (Seats 65, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 5, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Children / Teens
Signing area: Signing Area - Children (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelist: Balint Zsako
Moderator: Ray Martens
On Your Mark, Get Set, Draw: Illustrator Draw-Off
Join Adam Rex for a fun draw-off as illustrators compete to create quick drawings based on suggestions from the audience.

College of Education Kiva 211 (Seats 200)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 5, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Children / Teens
Signing area: Signing Area - Children (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: AG Ford, Molly Idle, Juana Martinez-Neal, Dan Yaccarino, Balint Zsako
Moderator: Adam Rex

Bunny and Tree
Children / Teens
Enchanted Lion Books, LLC
April 2023
ISBN 9781592703937
196 pages