A classic French story from Nobel Prize-winner Patrick Modiano and celebrated illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé.
Beautifully illustrated, this is a love letter to Paris, ballet and childhood for fans of The Little Prince, Le Petit Nicholas and Madeline.
Catherine lives with her gentle father, Georges Certitude, who runs a shipping business in Paris with a failed poet named Casterade. Father and daughter share the simple pleasures of daily life: sitting in the church square, walking to school, going to her ballet class every Thursday afternoon. But just why did Georges change his name to Certitude? What kind of trouble with the law did Casterade rescue him from? And why did Catherine's ballerina mother leave to return to New York?
Patrick Modiano is a celebrated French novelist, author of numerous books for adults and children. His work has been translated into over 30 languages. Notable awards include the Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie Française, the Prix Goncourt and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies.’
Born in France in 1932, Jean-Jacques Sempé is one of the world’s most successful illustrators and cartoonists. His work includes numerous covers of the New Yorker magazine, full-page cartoons in Paris Match, the illustrations of the classic children’s book character, Nicholas, and many albums of cartoons and graphic novels. He lives in Paris.
Elegant. Apparently simple and transparent nostalgia belies its sophistication of observation. Deftly characterised illustrations.
Books for Keeps
Character comes across well. Really effecting overall mood.
Feather-light illustrations. This lovely book suggests the delicacy and strength of an eggshell.
Publishers Weekly online
Ravishing artwork. In surrendering our old certitudes, we may win insights that make our lives more fully human and humane in the present.
The Boston Globe
Little gem of a novel. Spare but lyrical prose. I loved the story.
Children's Corner Blog
The stylish watercolour illustrations are lively, conveying the warmth and the quiet wit of the text.
School Library Journal
What particularly engages is the way Modiano captures memories of childhood: fragmented, misunderstood, but glowing in the crucible of recollection
Amazing! This book is so lovely, a beautiful story. The illustrations are perfect too.
Sophie, age 9 for lovereading.co.uk
Very deep and beautifully crafted. Measured but very moving.
Dulcie, age 11 for lovereading.co.uk
Contributing to the charm of this special book are drawings by the French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempe.