Wednesday 28 November 2012

Le Visite De Petite Mort by Kitty Crowther (Lutin Poche)

Finally, FINALLY we've managed to get our own copy of this rather delightful little French paperback that tells a cute story all about Death and...

Wait just a second. Did you just say "cute story" and then "Death" in the same sentence there? You did didn't you!

Yes that's right, you see Death is a delightful little child-like figure in Kitty Crowther's darkly delicious tale. My french skills are pretty poor and of course if you're directly translating a children's picture book from french into english when reading it to your child, it'll lose a little of its pace and flow so be warned, you may need to improvise (or hope that your child's french skills are better than yours!)

Death comes to visit folk and of course they're not always welcome. Most are scared witless by Death. Most feel the chill of cold down their spine but when Death drops in on a rather lovely girl one day, she's like a breath of fresh air.

She's not scared, she doesn't feel cold and she gives Death a new joie de vivre (oh the irony) as they dance, play hide and seek and have fun.

Nagging at the back of Death's mind is the feeling that something's wrong. This girl is so different. Why does she not fear Death as much as the others did?

I'll leave the absolutely beautiful twist in this story for you to discover, suffice to say that if you feel you're up to dipping into the sometimes quite harrowing world of french children's picture books, this particular story is an utter delight. Kitty Crowther's artwork is also a treat, absolutely beautiful - not quite what you'd expect from a book that's predominantly about...well...death!

It's a pretty rare book and goes in and out of stock on Amazon regularly, but if you ever spot it and have enough skill to translate it (google translate can be your friend but the results are probably a bit stilted, but it's an option I guess) then really do treat yourself to this, it's fabulous.

Charlotte's best bit: Elsewise the girl, so beautiful and happy and when Charlotte found out why, she was overjoyed.

Daddy's favourite bit: That rare example of a book that immediately sticks in your mind and nags at you until you hunt it down and read it for yourself. We borrowed a copy and had to have our own. It took quite a while to get one but it was absolutely worth it. Brilliant, dark and a great insight into why french children's picture books are definitely worth investigating if you've got the language skills to enjoy them.