cover image The Tale of Hilda Louise

The Tale of Hilda Louise

Olivier Dunrea. Farrar Straus Giroux, $16 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37380-1

An orphan answers a higher calling--literally--in this fanciful fable about desire and destiny. Young Hilda Louise leads a boring existence embroidering handkerchiefs with all the other children at Chez Mes Petits Choux orphanage in Paris. Though she desperately longs for a family to love, Hilda Louise's only living relative is nowhere to be found. One day fate steps in, to lift not only Hilda Louise's spirits but the girl herself: she floats through Parisian skies and into the waiting arms of her long-lost uncle. (For another red-headed-orphan-flying-through-Paris adventure, see Bonjour, Lonnie, reviewed below.) Dunrea (The Painter Who Loved Chickens) tells this tale of magic with a matter-of-fact delivery that will have readers believing that wishes can come true. Creamy oil paintings bask in a warm palette, with each page of text placed on a burnished gold background. Droll perspectives of a pinnafored Hilda Louise drifting over rooftops, tree tops and even the Eiffel Tower keep this book flying high. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)