Book of the month: Parce que

This album was released in 2019, but we ordered several so much we fell in love with it!

Because it plunges us into the bedtime routine of a little girl, all wrapped up in her bed while her father is in the doorway, ready to say good night. But the little girl is old enough to ask her father existential, even philosophical questions. Why is the ocean blue? What is rain? What happened to the dinosaurs? What are black holes? A torrent of questions to which the father offers funny, absurd and poetic answers.

Page from the illustrated album Parce que by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

American author Mac Barnett (The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse, Extra-Sweet) brilliantly evokes the power of the imagination, which can be linked to both the world of childhood and that of books. His simple and colorful vocabulary allows him to share a moment of fun and discovery with a child, even a toddler.

And what about the illustrations by Montreal artist Isabelle Arsenault? Are there any fans in the room? We are! She takes us from the darkness of the child's room to the fantasies evoked by the father's answers. True to form, the illustrator leaves us with a final tableau that is worth the detour alone.

Page from the album Parce que by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

The album was also published in English by Candlewick Press under the title Just because. In 2019, it was named to the New York Times Top 10 Illustrated Books of the Year.

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