Written by India Desjardins
Illustrated by Pascal Blanchet
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Marguerite's Christmas by India DesjardinsAn old woman will no longer leave her house, not even on Christmas. She prefers to stay home, rather than take the risk of falling or coming down with a cold. She settles into the solitude and isolation of her safe, interior world. But just as she's about to enjoy a peaceful dinner in front of the TV, her doorbell rings ...This is a touching story about overcoming fear and the role of chance in life. India Desjardins is a journalist and writer who was born in Quebec in 1976. Pascal Blanchet was born in Quebec in 1980. He is interested in twentieth century design, architecture, and jazz.
's alien experience, and Blanchet's flat, retro illustrations are a perfect complement. In both aesthetic and setting they evoke the mid-20th century, when Marguerite and her husband no doubt set up housekeeping. In one particularly funny, wordless image, Marguerite stands at the door, an impossibly long cord extending all the way down the hall from the dad's unseen hand outside to the rotary phone hung on the wall. Share with older children; it will give them a new understanding of Grandma. -- STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews Blanchet's screen prints are unequivocally gorgeous, while simultaneously emphasizing solitude and loneliness ... This melancholy story offers layers of visual and psychological subtlety for introspective readers -- Publishers Weekly This beautiful, unusual book looks tenderly but realistically at a housebound older person trying to face her impending death bravely. Many children will recognize grandparents and other relatives in Marguerite?...?. Blanchet's sleek, wistful art evokes the 1950s, when Marguerite's life must have been in full bloom. ----Maria Russo, The New York Times Book Review Melancholy and surprising, this handsome book may inspire more than a few hasty holiday calls to absent parents or grandparents. --Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal Marguerite's Christmas is perfection from the storytelling and illustration to the candy cane end-papers and placement of the type. It's one of those books where everything works in exquisite balance, each element enhancing the expression of the other. Yes, it is at times an uneasy, layered read, but it is also deeply touching. I'll not soon forget Marguerite. I feel like I've known her my whole life. ----Donna McKinnon, 32 Pages Another thing to love about this book is its design and production: a cloth cover! Candy cane--striped endpapers! The thick, cream-colored pages! Happy holidays, indeed. The entire package here is a gift to readers. Blanchet's illustrations are a throwback to illustrations of the 1940s and '50s; his artistic style is a clear cousin to the likes of Roger Duvoisin. In a piece she wrote for A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature, Martha Parravano notes that picture books work best when they are on the side of the child. I think about that as I read this book. Our protagonist is an elderly lady, yes. Will children relate to this? I think so. She is a person that many children will recognize in their own lives, and she operates out of equal parts fear and anxiety. It's not like these are things children have never experienced, and I think it'd be eye-opening on many levels for them to hear Marguerite's story and think about the lives of elderly people they know. Or, as the Kirkus review notes more succinctly, Share with older children; it will give them a new understanding of Grandma. ----Julie Danielson, Blog, Kirkus Reviews'
About the Author
Interest Age: From 8
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