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CHARLOTTE IN LONDON by Joan MacPhail Knight


by Joan MacPhail Knight and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8118-5635-5
Publisher: Chronicle

It’s 1895, and Charlotte, formerly of Boston, is leaving Giverny, France, where her father studies painting with Monsieur Monet, for London, where her mother hopes to model for John Singer Sargent. Presented in a fictional diary format similar to earlier books in the series (Charlotte in Giverny, 2000, etc.), this charming tale is likewise accompanied by Sweet’s appealing watercolors and inventive collage that incorporates reproductions of artwork and period photographs. When it becomes clear that Sargent has traveled on, the family, hoping their paths will intersect, continues its tour as well and enters a social whirlwind of artists and members of le beau monde, from Henry James to James Whistler to hostess Mrs. Cyprian Williams. Charlotte’s witty voice, peppered with French phrases, resonates brightly as she relates her tour of England from the Tower of London to the Cotswold countryside and includes interesting tidbits of historical detail for readers to savor. A terrific choice for readers with an interest in art history, this is a strong, appealing story on its own. (artwork credits, biographical notes, author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)