Originially published in French under the title, Au Jardin du Luxembourg, André Dahan's Squiggle's Tale uses the time tested literary device of irony to introduce us to the joys of playing in the park.
It's too bad this book is out of print and, I'm guessing, is going to be hard to find because it's format is very appealing to children. Squiggle writes home to his parents about his good behavior during an outing with his cousins at the Luxembourg Garden but the illustrations reveal a completely different story. Squiggle may confess to having "dipped our toes in [the fountain] just a tiny bit" but fails to mention the dive they took into the water. He writes that he and his cousins "help rake leaves" in the park but the illustration is of the pigs jumping in and scattering a pile of leaves. Of course, all ends happily, as it usually does in Paris (perhaps with the exception of a few picked flowers).
Dahan's appealing and colorful illustrations are reminiscent of Impressionism and we get a thorough tour of the famous park. I love books that are set in urban recreational spaces as they show that kids (and adults) can experience free range play and a variety of activities "off the streets." Who wouldn't love to see a Punch and Judy show, ride a carousel, roll down a lush green hill, play card games and jump in a pile of leaves, all without leaving the exciting city of Paris?
Visit the author's website.
I had trouble finding much on Squiggle's Tale, but his book My Friend the Moon, seems to be more well known (also OOP).
Big Kid says: That is not what really happened. What he wrote in his letter.
Little Kid says: Pig!