Emma's Journey

Claire Frossard, Illustrator, Etienne Frossard, Photographer
Claire Frossard, photos. by Etienne Frossard, Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-59270-099-8
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Ostensibly about a perky sparrow's journey to France, this uncle-niece team's debut devotes most of its energy to Manhattan and Brooklyn. Spurred on by stories of the family's immigration to the United States ("Since his retirement, Uncle Bob had become passionate about genealogy"), Emma decides to visit Paris. "Oh, my sweet, but you are still so small," says her mother, who nevertheless packs her a jar of worm jam and a thermos of tea. The book is initially illustrated by Claire Frossard's cartoons of Emma's life in Central Park, which give way to Etienne Frossard's photographs of New York City by winter; the photos are augmented by Claire's drawings of Emma, who wears a sailor hat and pink rubber rain boots as she visits familiar New York landmarks ("This looks just like a big slice of cake," she comments on the Flatiron Building). Chatty Emma makes her way across the city at sparrow-speed; not until near the end does she actually set off for France. Some may chafe at the slow pace and loosely plotted story, but this cozy odyssey should find some ardent fans. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
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