La petite rapporteuse de mots
© Les 400 coups
Not yet available in English translation, this charming picture book from Québec comes highly recommended by our reviewer Sita Monsef-Rao

'Magical' may be the best word to describe La petite rapporteuse de mots, a charming French picture book for children written by Danielle Simard with dreamy water colour illustrations by Geneviève Côté. 'Magically' is also one of the many words that young Élise, the story's narrator, has learned from her grandmother. Winner of a 2007 Governor General's Award from the Arts Council of Canada for its uniquely muted illustrations which mirror an emotional story, La petite rapporteuse de mots recounts the thoughts of Élise as she comes to terms with her grandmother's gradual loss of language. Where are the words going, Élise wonders? Can she catch them like butterflies in a net? As she tries to solve this sad mystery, the creative young girl soon becomes a champion "finder of words". Eventually, with a wisdom only children know, Élise comes to realise that her grandma's words aren't really lost or worn out. Rather, they have been given away like a gift. And besides, words aren't the only gifts Grandma has to give.

Danielle Simard is a talented and accomplished writer of children's literature in French with a huge list of books behind her. Geneviève Côté has an equally illustrious career as the illustrator of many children's books both in French and English. Together these two gifted artists create a truly touching story of loving and living with an aging grandparent.

La petite rapporteuse de mots is published in Québec by Les 400 Coups, an award-winning publisher of both children's and adult literature in French. They devote their work to the pleasure, beauty and power of words, ideas and images.

Story by Danielle Simard and illustrations by Geneviève Côté. Published by Les 400 coups in Québec.


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