Red Wheelbarrow Book Reviews

Renee Abigail Penelope Harold Meg

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Penelope's Reviews


Paris: Then and Now

by Peter & Oriel Caine
Thunder Bay Press hardcover

The much beloved tour guides of Paris Walks have put together the perfect coffee table book of photographs and texts where they match found photographs of Paris (scenes from a century ago) with photographs taken from the same angles of Paris today. This is a Paris art book that one can keep and look at for centuries. Perfect for all ages but especially a gift for those who at some point have visited and fallen in love with Paris.


The Red Necklace

by Sally Gardner
Orion Children's Books
"a gripping read, complete with adventure, a little magic, vivid characters and a turbulent background."
Jennifer Taylor, THE BOOKSELLER

From Penelope:Once again Sally Gardner, storyteller supreme in voice and on paper, has written another book that will have you squirreling away time to read it - really I should have read it slowly over the weeks to my youngest child but instead I read it selfishly to myself.

There is a story, a plot, an intrigue, nothing is missing in this book and if you like myself have always lived in Paris with just a sketchy notion of what the French Revolution was all about -I could not think of a sweeter way to get interested. What Sally tells us is also not for the faint-hearted. The book has everything : hero, heroine, magic, history, and moves at a fast pace.

And the nicest thing about coming to the end of this novel -is that a suite is promised. Bravo Sally Gardner!

Literature lives.

From the Publisher: The story of a remarkable boy called Yann Margoza; Tetu the dwarf, his friend and mentor; Sido, unloved daughter of a foolish Marquis; and Count Kalliovski, Grand Master of a secret society, who has half the aristocracy in thrall to him, and wants Yann dead.

Yann is spirited away to London but three years later, when Paris is gripped by the bloody horrors of the Revolution, he returns, charged with two missions: to find out Kalliovski's darkest deeds and to save Sido from the guillotine.

With a tangle of secrets, a thread of magic and a touch of humour, the follies of the aristocracy and the sufferings of ordinary people are unfolded as their lives move relentlessly towards the tragic and horrific days of the Terror. The Red Necklace is not only a tremendous adventure story but a vibrant and passionate picture of Paris in turmoil and of a large cast of memorable characters.

Q&A with the Author (Orion website)


The Conquerors

by David McKee
Andersen, paperback

This beautifully illustrated children's picture book (by McKee of Elmer the Elephant fame) tells the story of an imaginary country whose army invades other countries. But each time the occupying army arrives, the soldiers learn the cuisine, dance, songs, and games of the "conquered" country (as well as making friends with the population). When the army is sent home the returning soldiers teach their families the customs they have learnt. Eventually the head general gives up his conquering ambitions. A book about the fun of discovering the unknown but most of all about peace and tolerance and the futility of war in terms a child aged 3 to 103 can understand.

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