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French Titles

Image of Cover: Un/f/ arbre
Copyright/Source

UN ARBRE
HENRIETTE MAJOR
ILLUSTRATIONS: GENEVIÈVE LUSSIER
MONTREAL:LES 400 COUPS, 2000, 32 P.
(LES PETITS ALBUMS)
ISBN 2921620820
AGES 3 TO 6

This is the story of a tree that is used as a perch, playground, cradle, pantry, trap, school, bed, sharpener, hiding place, shelter, umbrella, different things, depending on the user. Written for toddlers, it explains the importance of trees - even the one near your home. All but the first illustration are double-page, each one showing a close-up of how the tree's occupant has chosen to use it. Brightly coloured and simply constructed, the acrylic and coloured pencil illustrations help children make up the story that the rather brief text does not provide. The short text is printed on a corner of a sky that is always blue. The images express the joy of life and the movement that can be found in nature.

Image of Cover: Ben Caribou
Copyright/Source

BEN CARIBOU
BENJAMIN SIMARD
WATERLOO, QUE.: ÉDITIONS MICHEL QUINTIN, 1999, 231 P.
(GRANDE NATURE)
ISBN 2894351364
AGES 12 AND UP

Ben Caribou is the story of a modern-day trapper. From his childhood through to his professional relationships with the federal, provincial and foreign governments, he relates incidents that have marked his career. He tells the real-life story of the first traps he set, of his studies in veterinary medicine in Sainte-Hyacinthe, of the three years he spent in western Canada, where he specialized in ecology at the University of British Columbia, and of his adventures on Vancouver Island and in the Parc des Laurentides. Each story is infused with his love of nature and the environment; he shows us the great respect for the environment that he has felt throughout his career.

The author knows how to keep us on the edges of our seats, right to the end. It's the kind of story that everyone will enjoy and that will renew the hope of those for whom the environment and respect of nature are priorities. One senses that the people who had the pleasure of working with Ben Caribou shared his unbridled love of animals and the environment. This man, generous and respectful, gives without a thought for what he will receive in return.

Image of Cover: Bichou et ses lunettes
Copyright/Source

BICHOU ET SES LUNETTES
DOMINIC GRANGER
ILLUSTRATIONS: ROMI CARON
SAINT-ALPHONSE-DE-GRANBY, QUE.: ÉDITIONS DE LA PAIX, 1999, 64 P.
(DÈS 6 ANS; 3)
ISBN 2921255944
AGES 6 TO 9

Bichou, a very near-sighted young fish, notices that there are fewer fish participating in this year's spring celebration. Using a pair of glasses made from the bottoms of two bottles, Bichou is able for the first time to see the extent of the pollution at the bottom of the lake. By leafing through the pictures in a book found in a sunken ship, he comes to understand the role of the fisherman. Bichou organizes a big clean-up contest; the winner will receive a treasure from the sunken ship.

The contest is a great success; the bottom of the lake has never looked so nice. At a party held in Bichou's honour, the lake's inhabitants give him a splendid pair of glasses made with shells and diamonds. Discovering that he has so many friends has made Bichou very happy.

This little book, aimed at beginner readers, gently introduces them to pollution and its effects on the environment. Questions and games interrupt the narrative, both to keep young readers' attention and to stimulate their thoughts on the subjects raised. The illustrations are well integrated into the text.

Image of Cover: Bip
Copyright/Source

BIP
FRANCINE OUELLETTE
ILLUSTRATIONS: FRANCINE OUELLETTE
MONTREAL: LIBRE EXPRESSION, 1995, 127 P.
ISBN 2891116461
AGES 4 AND UP

Bip is a little inner voice that has accompanied the author for years. He acts as the main character and is the story's narrator. A philosophical story, this book deals with existential questions. The author tackles the relationship that humans have with their environment: nature, animals and the other human beings. The character, whose age corresponds to that of a four-year-old child, moves from discovery to discovery. For example, he learns the secret of water: that it belongs to no one and everyone. He seeks to learn where it comes from and where it goes. He feels unparalleled joy at being immersed in it and feeling it run through his fingers. Bip discovers the notion of territory and freedom: why are certain animals free and others not? He discovers that the space occupied by man can be in conflict with the way wild animals live. He also learns about friendship, experiences the first feelings of love, and the fear of loss and of the unknown.

The illustrations, which appear on many of the pages, are printed in verdigris (greyish green). In keeping with the character's persona, they are delicate and rounded, giving the impression of softness.

The author has written text with a poetic touch that flows and is easy to read. Bip is a book for those ages four to 104.

Image of Cover: Le Collectionneur de vents
Copyright/Source

LE COLLECTIONNEUR DE VENTS
LAURENT CHABIN
ILLUSTRATIONS: NATHALIE DION
SAINT-LAURENT, QUE.: ÉDITIONS PIERRE TISSEYRE, 1999, 86 P.
(COLLECTION PAPILLON. FANTAISIE; 65)
ISBN 2890516946
AGES 6 TO 9

Léonard would like to have a collection, but not the kind that you find in cereal boxes or in candy bars. No, he would like a real collection, a collection of really interesting and unusual things. But what? Not ice crystals; they melt too quickly. And not banana peels, like Rachel collects. Stars perhaps? No, of course not, that's impossible. Léonard doesn't know. He's bored. He doesn't like anything. And so, just for a change of scenery, his parents decide they will spend their vacation in Martinique. That's where Léonard discovers that the winds each have their own identity: they have names, like people, like stars. That's what he will collect. Léonard will collect the winds. "It's possible because the winds are all different, because they have names and each one lives in a different place."

Léonard starts by capturing the trade wind - the one from the Caribbean - in a big jar. But how can he catch the other winds of the world? The solution: an ad in the newspaper and a message on the Internet. Bottles then start to arrive from around the world, each containing a little bit of wind: the typhoon from the Chinese seas, the harmattan from western Africa, the écorne-ville from France and, the highlight of his collection, the blizzard from the South Pole.

When he decides to show his collection to his friend Rachel, she thinks it's a joke, laughs at his collection and opens the bottle containing the blizzard. Suddenly, a violent wind, frigid, as if someone had just opened a fridge door, starts to blow into a storm. Ashamed of her mistake, Rachel gives Léonard a very special wind, a kiss from her, blown for him alone.

With this gentle, emotional and poetic story, Laurent Chabin succeeds in making young people more aware of the beauties and mysteries of nature and in introducing them to the various winds, for which he provides names and definitions in a glossary at the end of the book. Le Collectionneur de vents is a tale that will surely touch young and curious dreamers.

Image of Cover: Le Complot
Copyright/Source

LE COMPLOT
CHRYSTINE BROUILLET
ILLUSTRATIONS: PHILIPPE BROCHARD
MONTREAL: LA COURTE ÉCHELLE, 2001, ©1985, 90 P.
(LES ENQUÊTES DE CATHERINE ET STÉPHANIE)
ISBN 2890214710
AGES 9 TO 12

Sophie Tremblay is not happy to be paired up with Jean-François Turmel in her Introductory Science class - he's constantly seeking attention by flaunting his latest purchases. Then one day, his cat dies from a mysterious poisoning. Sophie and Jean-François team up to determine the exact cause of death; they suspect incriminating chemical products that come from the quarry where Jean-François' stepfather plans to build a new factory.

The two allies conspire to stop the factory project that threatens to pollute the environment. They decide to poison Jean-François' stepfather. After running away, being accused of drug trafficking, and numerous other incidents, the true nature of each of the characters is revealed.

Le Complot is an ecological adventure novel that tells the story of young characters who seek to protect the environment using unorthodox methods. The tone is light, the dialogue is well written, and the characters understand that they cannot always trust appearances.

Image of Cover: Éloïse et le cadeau des arbres
Copyright/Source

ÉLOÏSE ET LE CADEAU DES ARBRES
MAURICE THERRIEN
ILLUSTRATIONS: LEANNE FRANSON
WATERLOO, QUE.: ÉDITIONS MICHEL QUINTIN, 1999, 44 P. (SAUTE-MOUTON; 2)
ISBN 2894351186
AGES 6 TO 9

Ever since her family moved to an old country house, Éloïse has been bored. To amuse herself, she decides to explore the attic, which she suspects is chock-full of secrets. To her great surprise, as soon as she nears the little door at the very top of the steps leading to the attic, she hears voices. Curious, she peeks through the keyhole and sees a rocking chair talking to an easel. Not only are they conscious and aware, the pieces of furniture in the attic are speaking and telling their stories. Éloïse learns that each of them started out as a particular species of tree and that the daily events they have lived through have made each of them unique.

Éloïse learns a valuable lesson from their stories. She now sees trees in a different light, appreciating their beauty and usefulness. On a later visit to the attic, she discovers a gift from the trees, a violin that she learns to play and that keeps her company when she is alone.

The black and white illustrations are simple; however, they illustrate the subject of the text well. Éloïse et le cadeau des arbres contains beautiful descriptions of nature which will capture the interest of children. Even the littlest ones will discover the joys of solitude.

Image of Cover: En panne dans la tempête
Copyright/Source

EN PANNE DANS LA TEMPÊTE
CAROLE TREMBLAY
ILLUSTRATIONS: DOMINIQUE JOLIN
MONTREAL: BORÉAL, 1993, 126 P.
(BORÉAL JUNIOR; 28)
ISBN 289052566X
AGES 7 TO 12

A five-day class skiing trip to Lac St-Jean becomes an extraordinary adventure for the students in Mrs. Duhaime's class. Travelling through the Parc des Laurentides, the school bus breaks down in the middle of a snowstorm. While the bus driver goes to get help, Mrs. Duhaime tries to ease the tension. A few hours later, as the temperature in the bus continues to fall, the teacher must leave to find shelter for the children. Although help finally arrives, the children must brave the storm as well as show initiative and courage.

Anecdote follows anecdote in this exciting adventure story. Winter and the problems it can cause become very real. City kids discover things about life in the forest that they had never dreamed of; they learn to respect the cycle of nature and the seasons.

Carole Tremblay has previously introduced us to this gang and their amusing adventures in La Nuit de l'Halloween.

Image of Cover: Les Enfants de l'eau
Copyright/Source

LES ENFANTS DE L'EAU
HÉLÈNE GAGNIER
ILLUSTRATIONS: DANIELLE SIMARD
MONTREAL: ÉDITIONS PIERRE TISSEYRE, 1991, 150 P.
(COLLECTION PAPILLON; 16)
ISBN 2890514307
AGES 9 TO 12

Chalie and Stollo are two children from the water who arrive on land on a mission. They come seeking help from humans to stop the pollution of streams and rivers, which is threatening the survival of their people. To this end, they ask 11-year-old Philippe, their new neighbour, to help them convince the adults to take concrete measures to stop the polluting.

Philippe and his teacher Louis organize an information session for students, parents and teachers, to which the media are also invited. A few hours after the news report is broadcast on television, the military arrests Chalie and Stollo to observe and interrogate them. The military police also have questions for Philippe and Louis. The police don't know what to make of these children with half-moon eyes, blue hair, three lungs and who are much lighter than human children.

The tide children are handed over to scientists at a research institute. The only thing that the scientists can agree upon is that they represent no threat to the country, so the children are eventually set free. A little later, Philippe's friends return to their marine world. Was their message forceful enough to ensure them a long life?

Several black-and-white illustrations enliven the story.

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Date Created: 2001-05-29
Date Modified: 2002-09-25

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