Seraphin charms effortlessly. I am not sure if I am talking about the book or the character(s). But read on as I discover the answer to this question I have for myself!
Written and Illustrated by Philippe Fix
Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith
Hardcover: 28 pages
Publisher: Elsewhere Editions (July 9, 2019)
Source: Edelweiss eARC
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Seraphin, dreaming of gardens full of birdsongs, sunny avenues, and flowers, works as a ticket seller in a metro station underground. One day, after being scolded by the stationmaster for trying to save a butterfly that had flown into the station by accident, he learns that he has inherited an old, dilapidated house. Overjoyed by the possibilities, he and his friend Plume set about building the house of their dreams, and much more besides! Philippe Fix’s illustrations, cinematic in their scope, have enchanted children since their 1967 début. In a fresh translation, Seraphin now allows a new generation to experience the wonder and inventive spectacle of the original.
Seraphin amazes, bewilders, confounds, dazzles, enchants, flaunts, gracefully heartwarms(!), …..well, I think I shall stop with the alphabet for now. But I think it is obvious I did enjoy reading this book.
Granted, there were some aspects of the story that made me wonder (like a little boy all alone, not Seraphin and not a spoiler!), seemed to jump off from serious realities to whims of fancy, and left me, well…….. But the story and the wonderfully whimsical illustrations that accompany it transport the reader to flights of fancy while grounding the reader with bits of reality(!) And isn’t that what stories are all about?
So take a journey of whimsy, of imagination, of delight, of growing up, and of remaining a child – with Seraphin and Plume!
I have said it all already. And I know I want to read and see more by this author-illustrator now.
While this book’s recommended age group is 5 – 8 years old, note that the book’s wordiness actually means that this is a book to read out loud to the younger ones; and the fanciful flights lend themselves perfectly for reading aloud! Also, I think this is another of those books that anyone can read and enjoy..