LEGENDS OF LOTUS ISLAND: The Guardian Test Written by Christina Soontornvat Illustrated by Kevin…
Madame Martine by Sarah S. Brannen
written and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
(Albert Whitman & Company, $16.99, Ages 4-8)
With soft, smudgey watercolors, the book shows us the unsmiling Madame going about her usual business. She even irons with her back turned to a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower from her apartment window! “Eh! It’s a tourist thing,” she says dismissively.
Then one rainy day, Madame discovers a small, wet, dirty dog that licks her hand and wags its tail. “It needs me,” she thinks, and “A dog might be nice.” She takes him home, cleans him up, and names him Max.
Max fits comfortably into Madame’s routine life, until one day he takes off after a squirrel and chases it under the turnstile to the Eiffel Tower. Madame has no choice but to buy a ticket and follow him. Young readers will relish the wild journey as Max rushes all the way to the top, even taking the elevator! Will Madame be cross with her pup, or will Max’s unplanned adventure change her life for the better?
Brannen’s illustrations masterfully capture the intricate metalwork that compose the Eiffel Tower and she paints the full range of misty, hazy sky shades that drape Paris in the spring. Beautiful large spreads of the flickering city lights help reinforce the idea that the world beyond one’s doorstep is a wondrous place to explore. Children will adore the cuddly, lively Max whose puppyish energy and enthusiasm ooze off the page.
MADAME MARTINE is a nice book to share with children who embrace routine and resist change. It is also refreshing to see an older person portrayed in a picture book as a character who is still open to change, growth and discovery. And while Madame is not completely transformed, the book gently emphasizes that life is a sweeter journey with a good friend – or dog – at your side.
– Reviewed by Cathy Ballou Mealey
Where Obtained: I reviewed a promotional copy of MADAME MARTINE from the publisher and received no compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own.
This Post Has 8 Comments
LOVE this one.
Are you a Francophile, too, Danielle?
This may be the only way I get to see France! Lovely!
I’d love to get a roundup together of France-themed books just for you!
We need a GRWR reviewers retreat in France!
Oui, oui, with NO SNOW!
I bet the illustrations are beautiful!
Yes they are and we can’t wait to see Brannen’s next book. Thanks for stopping by, Janet.
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