cover image Edmond, the Moonlit Party

Edmond, the Moonlit Party

Astrid Desbordes, trans. from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, illus. by Marc Boutavant. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-174-2

Desbordes revisits themes from her 2010 picture book, Daydreams of a Solitary Hamster, as she explores the eccentricities of three animals that live in a chestnut tree. Readers first meet Edmond, a lonely orange-red squirrel who generally stays at home making nut jam and fuzzy pompom hats. Elsewhere in the tree live George, an owl who loves to disguise himself as other animals, and Harry, a bear known for throwing can’t-miss parties. When the night of Harry’s latest party arrives, the highlight of which is a “nothing tart” he has baked, George persuades Edmond to attend. Boutavant’s eyeball-searing backgrounds in bright blues, yellows, and oranges can be a bit intense at first, but his characteristically retro-styled scenes exude homespun fun, especially as costumed animals dance and cavort at Harry’s party. There are some odd digressions and musings—at the party, an ant asks a seagull (who is actually George in disguise) “what the vast emptiness of sea and sky is like”—but readers will still walk away understanding the value in breaking out of one’s routines. Ages 4–8. (July)