14 July 2009

Vive Le France, Vive Le List

In honour of Bastille Day, because after all who doesn't love a storming of the castle.

1: Mr Chicken Goes to Paris by Leigh Hobbs
As Sonya Hartnett says: 'The world's most beautiful city meets the world's most startling chicken...'

2: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmansy
'In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. They left the house, at half past nine... The smallest one was Madeline.'

3: Asterix by Rene Goscinny
All Gaul is occupied. All? No! One small village still holds out against the invaders. The ever-popular adventures of shrewd Asterix and super-strong Obelix who are determined to resist the advances of the Roman Empire. It's worth it for the names alone. Par example: Chief Vitalstatistix, the fishmonger Unhygienix and best of all the Druid Getafix. (If you want to marvel at the genius of translators, go here.)*

4: Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
Leaving aside any political or moral objections to the stories - who doesn't love an elephant? Especially one who names his kids Pom, Flora and Alexander.

5: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Speaking of elephants, any book that has its own museum (in Japan - not France) needs no explanation from us.

6: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, True Love, miracles.... You may ask how this fits into our Bastille Day celebrations? Easy, peasy. As we have said before, any excuse.

* We should probably mention that other great French comic book hero, Tin Tin, but we're not going to.


Anonymous said...

Not going to mention the boy reporter? Why ever not?

Steph Bowe said...

See, I always thought his dog was called Tin tin, and he had a normal name. But I see I was wrong.

I love Madeline.

A latte beckons said...

Isn't Tin Tin Belgian?

jonathan said...

I'm a big fan of the work of Francisco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais ( I'm pretty sure they're French) - Elephant elements, That's disgusting, That's dangerous.

All wonderful picture books that are a bit out of the ordinary.

barking owl said...

Le Petit Prince,
I had to translate it painfully, word by word from the French for class, and still I loved it.

une grande liste.