cover image Paris by Phone

Paris by Phone

Pamela Druckerman, illus. by Benjamin Chaud. Putnam, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16506-1

Having shown adults the ways of French parenting in 2014’s Bringing Up Bébé, Druckerman now turns to the picture book set. Her protagonist, Josephine, yearns for la vie Parisienne: “In France, the kids eat chocolate rolls/ and take their poodles out for strolls./ They stay up late to roast their snails/ and send each other French emails.” After quarreling with her mother, Jo is transported by a toy phone to the Parisian home of chic Odile du Chateau du French Bun (“From the red of her lips to the beige of her sweater,/ she’s like Josephine’s mother, but quite a bit better”) and her son Pierre. Odile speaks in an exaggerated French accent as Jo eats an oyster at a café and takes in the view from the Eiffel Tower. But soon she realizes that her mother and home—“the place they know you by heart”—are where she belongs. The sleek lines and stylish irreverence of Chaud’s (Scared of the Dark? It’s Really Scared of You) gouache and pencil cartooning lend élan to the standard whirlwind tour, but budding boulevardiers might be better served by Leslie Kimmelman and Sarah McMenemy’s Everybody Bonjours! Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Suzanne Gluck, William Morris Endeavor. Illustrator’s agent: Debbie Bibo, Debbie Bibo Agency. (Feb.) [/em]