An enthusiastic young girl and her talking, stuffed-animal companion explore Paris in this debut picture book.
Aya wakes up and gets ready for a big day of traveling—to Paris. Aya, a dark-skinned girl with curly hair (brushed into a topknot by her Papa) and glasses, appears to be about 5 years old. Her traveling companion, Pete, is a chatty stuffed sloth. Together with her parents, Aya and Pete learn to count to 10 in French and visit many well-known landmarks, including the Jardin de Luxembourg, Notre Dame, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. In this series opener, the mother-daughter team of Gore and Minott integrates French words into the text, sometimes explaining them for readers in Aya’s thoughts. Other times, as with food and location names, they let the illustrations show the meanings. Aya’s world is full of love—her parents are always present without being in the way of her adventures—and she and Pete have a comical relationship. Travel picture books require a lot of text to create a proper framework, but the authors’ use of an accessible vocabulary will keep readers from becoming overwhelmed. Búzio’s (Be More Sloth, 2018, etc.) painted images beautifully capture both the busy city and Aya and Pete’s bond.
This illustrated tale provides a tantalizing peek at Paris through the eyes of a charming protagonist and her stuffed sloth.