NICOLE: A Little French Schoolgirl by Maud Frere

NICOLE: A Little French Schoolgirl

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Nicole seems more subdued in this second book. The first was My Name is Nicole (1965, p. 1040-J346), in which her self-conscious monologue of pre-school life around a French household seemed preternaturally adult. This time, she's off to school and her observations on her teachers and fellow students are straightforward, revealing some of the school routine of the middleclass French child. (The illustrations broadly guy the good looks of the teachers.) Nicole comes down with measles and during quarantine grapples again with her obnoxious boy cousin, achieving ascendancy at the price of a ringing slap in the face from her mother. Her dog and an imaginary Indian playmate are also part of her story carried over from the first book but left in the background in this one. The illustrations are slickly rendered, full-color cartoons. Altogether, Nicole is the sort of creation in text and pictures that is likely to appeal to sophisticated adults unfamiliar with children's books. There is a list of French words employed and their English definitions thus suggesting a use for the book despite reservations as to story and picture quality.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1966
Publisher: Random House