Emma in Paris

Image of Emma in Paris
Release Date: 
November 26, 2013
Enchanted Lion Books
Reviewed by: 

The cheerful sparrow Emma, whom readers met during her early days in Emma’s Journey, rises to the challenge of creating a new, adventurous life for herself in Paris.

With her trademark pink polka-dot boots and her puffy white beret topped by a red pom-pom, Emma arrives from New York City with nothing but her cousin Amélie’s address in Montmartre. Knowing little French, she finds it difficult to locate her, especially as the first few strangers she encounters offer no help.

That doesn’t stop Emma, however, who halts at a bookstall along the Seine to buy herself a French-English dictionary. Soon her luck improves when a white cat, grateful that Emma returned money he’s dropped, offers to share a croque-monsieur with her at a sidewalk café.

Children will delight in the many humorous details Ms. Frossard adds to Mr. Urbain’s sharp, well-composed photographs of Paris. Birds flutter about wearing colorful helmets, a bluebird walks her pet ladybug, snails cavort among lush heads of lettuce, and young mice ride tiny bikes.

In addition to the engrossing artwork, the plot’s revelation of Emma’s bohemian lifestyle shared with her cousin will appeal to many children’s sense of adventure. What child hasn’t dreamed of joining the circus and entertaining crowds with daring feats of fire eating, juggling, and walking a tightrope?

As readers follow the developments of Emma’s exciting new life, they will come upon such quintessential Parisian sites as the Arc de Triomphe, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Consequently, Emma in Paris is a logical choice for adults who want to introduce children to the City of Lights. Whatever the motivation, most will find this amusing picture book très charmant.