cover image Madame Martine

Madame Martine

Sarah S. Brannen. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-4905-6

Who needs to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower when you live in its shadow? That’s the logic adopted by set-in-her-ways Madame Martine, the dour, elderly star of this sweet-natured story about the joys to be found in trying something new. Madame Martine is content to follow her familiar routes through the streets of Paris: “Every morning Madame Martine went to Rue Cler and bought chicken on Monday, scallops on Tuesday, mushrooms on Wednesday, beef on Thursday, and fish on Friday. On Saturdays she fed the birds. On Sundays she stayed home.” But after a friendly stray dog catches her eye during her stroll, all bets may be off. The new pet, now named Max, inserts himself into Madame’s rigid routine and helps her gain a new perspective on her surroundings. Brannen (Uncle Bobby’s Wedding) illustrates her tale of an expanded viewpoint with gently drafted watercolor scenes of vibrant Paris streetscapes that gradually brighten, right along with Madame Martine’s wardrobe—and attitude. Ages 4–7. Agent: Jennifer Starkman, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (Sept.)