Happy Bastille Day!


In honour of Bastille Day a review of a newish picture book plus a revisit of two older titles for your revolutionary pleasure.

An Armadillo in Paris – Julie Krause


Random House Australia

ISBN: 9781770495265

Published: 02/02/2015

Imprint: Tundra Books

Extent: 32 pages


This whimsical travelogue has been lurking on my shelves for months but with hindsight I’m very pleased I’ve saved it till Bastille Day.

Arlo the armadillo hails from Brazil and is one of a long line of adventurers. His grandpapa Augustin was also a noted traveller who kept journals of his various trips and now Arlo is the beneficiary. Following his grandfather’s Paris journal Arlo is taken on a sumptuous tour of the best sights, scenes and senses of the heart of France, all of them leading to the climax of the Eiffel Tower in all her glory.

For children who are interested in other countries, and particularly for those who study French at their schools, this would be a real treat. Krause’s illustrations are very stylish and have a definite European feel to them, despite her Canadian origins.

In honour of the anniversary of ‘le Revolution’ tomorrow, I read this aloud to my two English classes today – Year 7 and Year 8 – and both were quite delighted by it. We all agreed that nobody is ever too old for picture books and learning facts in such a pleasant way as a vicarious stroll through the avenues of Paris can only be good J.

Since our college studies French this will be added to our own picture book shelves and I highly recommend it to you for your own shelves to expand readers’ awareness of other cultures and customs.

“Paris is always a good idea.” Audrey Hepburn and the author Julie Krause both agree.

This is Paris – Miroslav Sasek


Simon & Schuster

Imprint: Universe

  • First published: 1959
  • Reissued: 2004

If you have not ever experienced Sasek’s beautiful travel books for children, you really must. I love that the new editions have ‘updated’ information on that contained within the book at the end.

Be prepared to fall in love with these!!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick



January 30, 2007

I have loved this book since it was first published – and even enjoyed the film adaptation. There is something entirely magical about the book and its gorgeous and stylish graphic format.

Check out the official site for information and more.

Watch a book trailer here.

Activities etc here at Scholastic.

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