Sylvia's Bookshop: The Story of Paris's Beloved Bookstore and Its Founder (As Told by the Bookstore Itself!)

illus. by Katy Wu. 32p. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481472456.
PreS-Gr 3—A famous Parisian bookshop tells readers about the marvelous woman who brought it to life and the people that gathered there. When Sylvia Beach first sees her shop it is dusty, quiet, and dark, but she soon lines the shelves with piles and piles of books and brings it to life. Sylvia knows the power of stories and wants to build a place to share them with the world. She names her bookshop "Shakespeare and Company," and soon it becomes a meeting place for many well-known thinkers and writers who come to talk, debate, and share their ideas with each other. The rhyming text gives the story a magical, fairy-tale feel that's complemented well by the artist's Impressionist style. The scenes that cut away to fantastic worlds and imaginary landscapes pouring out from Sylvia's precious books are especially marvelous. Though some references might be too obscure for younger readers they are likely to catch the notice of adults. The text and illustrations work well to convey the excitement and fortuity felt by those who frequented Sylvia's bookshop. Endpapers include a "Hurrah for Books and Bookstores!" section, information about the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, and some facts about the writers mentioned in the story.
VERDICT A delightful celebration of a brave and entrepreneurial young woman and her illustrious bookshop. Recommended for purchase for larger collections.

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