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- Little Gestalten
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- 7.75(w) x 11.75(h) x (d)
- Age Range:
- 3 - 6 Years
Everyone knows the Eiffel Tower, yet no one knows the love story that led to its construction. Author Alice BriГЁre-Haquet and illustrator Csil have pooled their creative talents to tell this touching story about overcoming hardship with clever invention fueled by love. Mr. and Mrs. Eiffel are a happy couple enjoying living in the most romantic city in the world, Paris. Until one day, Mrs. Eiffel begins to feel desperately unwell. The experts are unanimous: the only thing that can save her is fresh air. Her husband, a bright engineer, decides he will take matters into his own hands and build a tower that will reach the clouds in an attempt to restore her health.
Csil's poetically minimal illustrations in black, white, and pink are incredibly evocative, and Alice BriГЁre-Haquet's words are a delight to read aloud.
BriГЁre-Haquet and Csil reimagine the Eiffel Tower as an elaborate cure for engineer Gustave EiffelвЂ™s wife, Cathy, who is mortally ill. Frail and bedridden, she proposes to her husband, вЂњYou could build us a railway that takes us up to the clouds in a blink.вЂќ And it works: he designs and builds the tower, carries her to the top, and the two live вЂњhappily and well for a long time.вЂќ CsilвЂ™s intricate, spidery drawings are the workвЂ™s great charm. Executed in a tracery of needle-thin black lines with a blush of sunset pink for color, each spread has its own complex eccentricity. Monsieur and Madame Eiffel have egg-shaped heads and tiny bodies, making their affectionate caresses all the funnier. The clunky verselike text and its ill-at-ease translation disappoint, though: вЂњBut Cathy grows skinny and pale/ and one day she feels itвЂ™s the end of her tale.вЂќ BriГЁre-Haquet cheerfully supplies a fictional ending to the EiffelsвЂ™ married life; in fact, his wifeвЂ™s given name wasnвЂ™t Cathy, but Marie, and she died of her illness. Ages 3вЂ“up. (Nov.)
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