Elsewhere Editions/Archipelago/. Jul. 2019. 28p. Tr $18. ISBN 9781939810250.
Gr 1-4–A happy life is one worth living, no matter the work required to create it. Meet Seraphin, a ticket-puncher in the Paris Metro. After only a short time working there, he realizes his true happiness lies elsewhere and he is quickly relieved of his position. Serendipitously, Seraphin inherits a dilapidated house on a plot of land and, together with his young friend Plume, they create a masterpiece of a house with Seraphin’s savings. They are happy there for only a short time before land developers arrive and threaten to destroy their beautiful home in the name of progress; Plume and Seraphin are left to decide whether to give in or find another, unexpected alternative. Oversized, glossy pages create the foundation for this imaginative tale of two friends rejecting societal expectations. The story is long and intricate, making it best suited for an older audience with a longer attention span. Translated from the 1967 French edition, the story feels clunky at times as it occasionally conflicts with standard English phrasing. Despite this, the story is an enjoyable examination of the progress of society through the lens of magic realism. Detailed, wholesome illustrations add beautiful complexity to the story, providing a delightful visual experience for the reader.
VERDICT Fans of stories like Up will enjoy this depiction of two people whose imaginations are big enough to carry them away from the mundane, predictable world

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