Children’s Literature: Emma in Paris

emma in parisEmma in Paris is the sequel to Emma’s Journey published in 2010. For the uninitiated, Emma is a little sparrow bitten by the travel bug. In this second installment, she sets sail across the Atlantic to meet her Parisian cousin.

Emma was ‘born in raised in New York City’. Her cousin Amelie lives in Montmartre, a town in Paris. Emma has Amelie’s address but she doesn’t understand French. Nonetheless, she sets out on her journey with the address clutched under her tiny wing. Finding Amelie’s home was not easy. Although she sought the help of a pair of avian pedestrians they were so rude that they chose to ignore her. The old mouse who was willing to help was deaf. He didn’t hear anything that Emma said. But Emma is a resourceful bird. She uses her last few cents to purchase a French-English dictionary which she studies with great enthusiasm. Now that she understands at least a few French words, she easily befriends a French cat, Edouard who helps her find her cousin.  Amélie is a performer in a street circus. She is happy to find Emma and entertains her with her stories about her life as a performer. And much to Emma’s delight Amelie recruits her to join the act.

The book is full of charming illustrations by Frossard and they are complemented by Urbain’s colorful photographs which present a beautiful slice of Parisian life. In this Paris, delightfully presented by the author, the animals cats, dogs and birds go about their everyday life unnoticed by the humans. There are plenty of funny images, too. There is an image of a pair of crows jogging in running shoes and headbands. And then there is a cat outfitted with a record player and headphones. He is a DJ.

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