CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 10 . . . . November 7, 2014
Julie Kraulis has created a charming illustrated story about Arlo, an armadillo from Brazil, and his trip to Paris. The story begins with Arlo getting ready to set off on an adventure to France, a trip that his grandfather Augustin had taken and written about in a journal. Arlo’s grandfather began a collection of journals of his adventures when Arlo was born for his grandson to read as they both shared a love of adventures. When Arlo reads the journal on Paris, he is told to follow the path his grandfather had taken and search for the Iron Lady. As Arlo visits each of the sites in Paris, such as the Champs-Elysees and the Louvre, he is given clues from his grandfather’s journal as to the nature of the Iron Lady. For instance, when his grandfather’s journal tells Arlo that he must visit a patisserie, his attention is drawn to macaroon cookies that, according to his grandfather, resemble the buttons in the Iron Lady’s collection. Another time, when Arlo visits the Jardin du Luxembourg, his grandfather tells him that the light from the pond shimmers just as the Iron Lady shines at night. The last page of the book explains all about the Eiffel Tower with facts based upon the clues in Arlo’s journal.
The illustrator used the mediums of oil and graphite to create images that complement the text. The colours are mostly muted, but the clever use of red draws the eyes to important details in the pictures. The endpapers are filled with artful graphite drawings of a young and playful Arlo. Furthermore, to accompany each picture of the tourist site Arlo visited, the illustrator has provided the reader text in two formats. Pages from Augustin’s journal accompany the picture of tourist site that Arlo visits, and there is also text describing Arlo’s point of view. At the end of the book, there is a large picture of the Eiffel Tower with Arlo looking up at her in admiration.
Julia Kraulis has written and illustrated a beautiful story which should appeal to children who like to solve puzzles and be entertained by a delightful little armadillo.
Janet Johnson is a retired librarian who used to teach Children’s Literature for the Library Technician Program at Red River College in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.