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Meeting Cézanne by Michael Morpurgo

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Children's Book of the Month

Meeting Cézanne by Michael Morpurgo
Published by Walker Books Ltd., 2013

Yannick can’t remember why his mother had to go to hospital or why she needed a month’s complete rest but he knows it’s why he had to spend a month with his Aunt Mathilde in Provence. Aunt Mathilde was big and bustling full of hugs and kisses which Yannick didn’t like but she made up for it by always giving him crystallized fruit treats.

Before his visit to Provence, Yannick’s mother shows him a book of paintings by Paul Cézanne, the greatest painter in the world and from what he sees he has to agree that Provence is Paradise itself.

What follows is an account of a young boy’s idyllic summer holiday in one of the most beautiful places in the world, even though he works hard in his Aunt’s and beloved Uncle Bruno’s Inn. He idolizes his older cousin Amandine and will do anything to make her smile.

Yannick is understandably devastated then when Amandine is angry and upset that he destroys a painting done by one of the most famous artists on earth when he comes to eat at their restaurant one evening.

Through Yannick’s trying to put things right, the author introduces an interesting twist to the end of the story leading to a surprising discovery.

Beautiful illustrations of rural France by François Place will add to your enjoyment of reading Meeting Cézanne as he evokes the colours and beauty of Provence. This book will probably be best appreciated by children aged 8 or 9 and over if shared with an adult on first reading.