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Adele & Simon    by Barbara McClintock order for
Adele & Simon
by Barbara McClintock
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Adele is in charge of walking her little brother Simon home from school each day. Home happens to be early twentieth century Paris, and the siblings enjoy exploring. On their walk home from school, they visit a museum, stop for pastries, climb a tree at the park, and they even come across a parade.

Simon, though, has a tendency to lose things along the way. When he first leaves school, he has with him a hat, gloves, scarf, sweater, coat, knapsack, books, crayons, and a drawing of a cat. With each turn of the page, Simon loses one more item, so that by the time he returns home, he has nothing. Inexplicably, soon after he arrives home, there is a line of people at his front door waiting to return the found objects.

The plot is thin, but children will enjoy finding the missing objects in the pictures. You need a sharp eye, though, because McClintock skillfully places the object in busy scenes.

McClintock is obviously intimately acquainted with Paris. The illustrations are superb and exquisitely detailed. There is a reference guide in the back of the book that explains the significance of each drawing and its real-life equivalent in Paris. Delightfully old-fashioned drawings lend atmosphere to this outstanding picture book.

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