THE SUGAR CHILD by Monique de Varennes


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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A lovely original tale as told to the author by her mother holds echoes of traditional stories of transformation. A husband-and-wife team of bakers enjoy their work in a mountain town in Canada—their only sorrow is their childlessness. One night, the husband makes a little girl out of sweet almond paste, and goes to bed. In the morning, they find a real child in the kitchen, with translucent sugar skin, and they call her Matine, for “morning.” Matine has a natural sweetness, and the other children protect her from rain and sun so she won’t melt. She finds a special friend in Jean-Paul, whose weak lungs do not permit him to run about in bad weather either. When he stops coming to school, her parents are afraid to tell Matine that Jean-Paul is ill and she awaits word longingly. When she finally learns the truth, she rushes to his side and her tears not only melt her hard sugar crust, but heal Jean-Paul besides. Gore’s pastel and acrylic paintings hold all the colors of marzipan and the translucence of sugar candy—a perfect foil for the tale’s dulcet tenderness. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-85244-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Anne Schwartz/Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2004


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