Monthly Archives: September 2009

Mirette on the High Wire

mirette

By Emily Arnold McCully

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1992

One hundred years ago in Paris, when theaters and music halls drew traveling players from all over the world, the best place to stay was at the widow Gateau’s, a boardinghouse on English Street. Acrobats, jugglers, actors, and mimes from as far away as Moscow and New York reclined on the widow’s feather mattresses and devoured her kidney stews. Madame Gateau worked hard to make her guests comfortable, and so did her daughter, Mirette.

What was initially conceived as a biography of real-life daredevil Blondin is now a lovely tale of bravery and redemption. Continue reading

Adele & Simon in America

adele

Written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008

Adele and Simon had traveled all the way from Paris to New York City to visit their Aunt Cecile. But that was just the beginning of their journey. Aunt Cecile was taking them on a train trip around America. The night before their departure, Adele, Simon, and Aunt Cecile were busy packing. Adele spread Simon’s things out on his bed. There was a journal, a pencil box, a cowboy hat, a tin drinking cup, a canteen, a bandanna, a pair of binoculars, a map, a pocketknife, a jacket, a vest, and a pair of bright red suspenders.

…All of which will eventually get lost on their travels, but that’s half of the fun of this book — spotting each item after Adele, Simon, Aunt Ceclie (and the occasional cowpoke) have given up their search. Continue reading

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Jillian Jiggs

jjiggs

Written and Illustrated by Phoebe Gilman

Scholastic, 1985

“Jillian, Jillian, Jillian Jiggs! It looks like your room has been lived in by pigs!”

“Later. I promise. As soon as I’m through, I’ll clean up my room. I promise. I do.”

Now, Jillian meant every word that she said. But later, the promise flew out of her head…

Forgive me, Jillian Jiggs. My scanner could not do your fine illustrations justice — probably because the copy I own (passed down from my mother, a teacher for nearly thirty years) is a Scholastic Big Book and nearly as tall as I am. Continue reading

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