A small, witty portrait gallery of colds, originally composed in French for a pharmaceutical company’s ad campaign.
François opens by explaining that children are urged never to catch one, which is why there are so many when other ancient creatures like the “Dogter” and the “Jam-Eating Frog” have disappeared. He then portrays over a dozen types—from “Head Cold” and “Hay Fever Cold” to the massive “Big Bad Cold” and the diminutive (but, as the author notes, “You still have to go to school”) “Sniffles Cold.” Portrayed as just loosely brushed black silhouettes in the minimalistic illustrations, the various colds look for the most part like tailless dogs with ducklike bills and ingratiatingly angled heads. Appealing looks notwithstanding, however, the author goes on to solidify his message that it’s never a good idea to have one around by pointing out that they can be “complicated” (depicted on a psychoanalyst’s couch being interrogated by Sigmund Freud) and hard to get rid of. Despite its sponsor, the mildly cautionary theme proceeds to its conclusion without mention of medication.
A bit of Gallic foolery, just in time for cold season. (Picture book. 5-7)