cover image Feather


Rémi Courgeon, trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-59270-210-7

Nicknamed Feather, Paulina gives up playing piano to train as a boxer; her older brothers use feats of strength like arm wrestling to determine who does the chores, and she’s tired of doing all the laundry, ironing, and cleaning. “In the weeks that followed, Feather won more fights against her brothers,” writes French author-illustrator Courgeon. “Which meant fewer chores. And fewer chores meant more time to train.” Paulina’s frustrations and determination are palpable, but the story is also notable for what goes unsaid and unseen. Paulina’s training starts after she gets a black eye; she won’t say who gave it to her, and readers never find out. Her mother is absent, but Paulina finds a photo of her tucked inside her gloves before her big fight, along with supportive notes from her brothers. Paulina gives up boxing after winning that fight—she’s made her point. Elegant and melancholic, Courgeon’s posterlike images suit the mood of a story whose subtle details (of her father, a Russian miner turned cab driver: “Feather could see how tired he really was”) create an intimate connection between readers and a girl who forges her own path. Ages 6–9. (Aug.)