Quote of the Day:
"When a new book is published, read an old one. "
Title: Loula is Leaving for Africa
Author and Illustrator: Anne Villeneuve
Loula is from a privileged family. Her mother is an opera singer and her father designs mustache's for a living. Unfortunately, she has three "mean, horrible, stinky," triplet brothers who drive her crazy so she decides to pack her belongings....her essentials...her stuffed cat, her tea set and her best drawing and head off to Africa!!!!! She encounters their chauffeur, Gilbert, polishing up their limo and he asks where she is off too in such rush. She says she is going to Africa, to get away from everything, and dear, loyal Gilbert becomes her tour-guide and helps her plan her escape. He tours her through a wonderful, magical afternoon of make-believe. "Mademosielle, look! What luck! Here is a restaurant. Which would you prefer," he says, offering her cotton candy and an ice cream cone. "Ostrich egg soufflé or a grasshopper sandwich?" They cross the desert (a park sandbox), go for a camel ride (bouncy, playground ducks), and take a paddle boat to a faraway remote island. On the island, in the stillness and the beauty of the sunset, they enjoy a cup of tea and together they watch the colour explosions overhead as the sun sinks slowly across the sky.
The ink-and-watercolour illustrations remind you of fabulous ones from yesteryears. They are playful and whimsical and I especially loved the tornado activity that was drawn above Loula's head to show her dissatisfaction and huffiness. As the day proceeds the tornado shrinks showing her more calm and relaxed as she spends time with her friend Gilbert. The different phases of the sunset are spectacular indeed!
Gilbert is willing to spend quality time with Loula. He happily plays along with her and is her protector right up the last moment when he carries the sleeping little adventurer back into her house. It is a sweet, interesting story full of imagination and warmheartedness. Every family needs a "Gilbert " in their life. Don't you agree?
About the author and illustrator:
Book Review rating: 9 (close to perfection)
Read on and read always!
*Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of Loula is Leaving for Africa is on Sept.1, 2013. Ideas and thoughts are my own.