This illustrated tale provides a tantalizing peek at Paris through the eyes of a charming protagonist and her stuffed sloth.


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.

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9992236-0-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Ashima Inc. D/B/A Ashima Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.


Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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