"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Adèle & Simon

Adèle & Simon
Author/Illustrator: Barbara McClintock
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux
ISBN 10: 0374380440

Adèle & Simon is such a beautiful book. It’s one of those books that make you ooh and ah over the pages. The story and the illustrations are equally compelling.

Adèle cautions her brother Simon not to lose anything on the way home from school and he immediately begins to lose things. The book is a walking trip through early 20th century Paris.

Adèle & Simon are walking through Paris, the City of Lights and there are such wonderful distractions and things to see that Simon can’t help but lose his things. They take a walk through the Louvre and Degas and Simon loses his crayons. They find acrobats performing in the streets; there is a parade, oh so many wonderful things! It’s a dream of Paris, the Paris of Gigi, of Madeline. The impressionists are alive and well, Paris is in its glory and Adèle & Simon get to walk through it all. I wanted to crawl right into the book and live in it.

The double page illustrations of the city are wondrous and bring to mind the illustrations of Ludwig Bemelmen’s. The pen and ink drawings filled with watercolors are simply exquisite.

One of the things I loved best was the end notes that talk about the locations on each illustration like on pages 18-19, the illustration is of the Jardin du Luxemborg and Ms. McClintock provides a little history and documentation of the gardens. Very educational!

Awards & Honors:
Amazon.com Top 10 Editors’ Picks: Children

Child Magazine Best Books of the Year

Children's Books: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, New York Public Library

New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Books of the Year

Parenting Magazine, Best Children’s Award

About the Author:

Barbara McClintock has written and illustrated several books for young readers, including Dahlia and Molly and the Magic Wishbone. She is also the illustrator of many more, including Jim Ayleworth’s retellings of The Tale of Tricky Fox and The Gingerbread Man. She lives in Windham, Connecticut.

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