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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Paul and Antoinette, words and pictures by Kerascoet. Translation by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion Books, Publishers Group Canada. 2016. $25.95 ages 4 and up

"After what seems like forever, Paul finally stands up. Antoinette doesn't waste a second. "Come on, Paul! Now's our chance or we'll never leave this gloomy house!" Antoinette knows that Paul doesn't like going outside very much at all. But once he does, Paul can't help looking around for something interesting to do. When Paul sees beautiful gold button flowers ... "

If you have kids you will know how different they can be! We share family stories to prove the sentiment at every turn. Do you?

Paul and Antoinette fit that mold. Paul loves all things neat and tidy. Antoinette does not have the same sentiment for the way things are done.

"Antoinette loves clearing the table. Licking the plates and sticky
 knives is her favorite thing!

Paul prefers tidying up, making sure everything is sparkling and
in its place."

Quite the difference! It doesn't end there. As we follow the siblings through their day, we become more and more aware of those things that matter to the bespectacled, clean-faced brother that have no meaning for his smudgy, full-of-adventure sister. Antoinette is willing to wait patiently as Paul follows up his early morning routine with a 'short something'. As soon as he looks as if he's moving on to another indoor activity, his sister hustles him outside.

Thank goodness! He's not keen; but, he can't help noticing the nearby flowers and thinking about the Ikebana instructions he's been reading every night. Meanwhile, his sister is licking an unimpressed snail. So, their day goes. Wandering in their wake, listeners are sure to be giggling about the kind of tomfoolery that pleases her, and the staid bits of trivia Paul provides. Will her exuberance be contagious? You will have to see for yourself.

So much personality is shared on each page of this beautifully designed book. Using endearing and expressive watercolors and providing gorgeous backdrops (especially for the outdoors scenes), the artists expand our understanding for the nature of each sibling. We grow to love them both!

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