Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Le bureau des papas perdu (5*)

I'm very lucky that my library supports students of four languages because it means that I'm exposed to a plethora of great novels and picture books that I wouldn't necessarily see in English. Today a parent returned this book: 

Le bureau des papas perdu

The front cover caught my attention first and then having read the title I knew I had to read it. The illustrations are fun and quirky, and remind me a lot of the children's books I read as a child (ex. Babar, The Tiger who came to tea). My french is not the best but I thought I would give it a go. I was able to understand the majority of the book, and I sat chuckling at my desk much to the amusement of my colleague. It is just utterly delightful. 

I've tried my best to translate the blurb here to give you an idea of the story:

This morning, unintentionally, I lost my dad. Then I ran into the street and I met a man who said . . . . "I work in the office of lost dads" This is the beginning of a strange adventure for a little boy. But how will he find his dad in the midst of so many others? Dads in striped sweaters, who leave crumbs on their mustaches, one who dances rather well, ones who are courageous, and even prehistoric dads. A tender and poetic book that plays hide and seek with the reader.

"Ce matin, sans le faire exprès, j'ai perdu mon papa. Alors j'ai couru dans la rue. J'y ai rencontré un monsieur. Il m'a  dit : Justement, je travaille au bureau des papas perdus." Voilà le début d'une drôle d'aventure pour un petit garçon. Mais comment retrouver son papa au milieu de tant d'autres ? Des papas en pull rayé, des qui laissent des miettes sur leur moustache, des qui dansent plutôt bien, des courageux, des foufous et même des papas préhistoriques... Un album tendre et poétique qui joue à cache cache avec son lecteur.

(Apologies if I've not translated it properly!) 

Told with simple humour and gorgeous illustrations, it is just delightful. It's a wonderful reminder that stories don't have to be over the top or complicated to be good. Perfect for boys and girls of all ages.  

Available in English from November 30th 2015.

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