I saw this book at a Scholastic Book Fair at my son’s elementary school. Funny enough, I picked up the book because of the cover and title of the book. It reminded me of something that happened to our family a few years ago.
A few years ago we took our kids to Paris. They were 1 and 3. We were waiting for a Seine River cruise to start and the kids were entertaining themselves with a game. They were counting in German (we lived in Germany at the time) and then yelling “go” in English and then run from a tree to a wall. Next to the wall, there was a family sitting and eating lunch. There were probably three generations on the benches. They watched my kids for a while and laughed with them and their game. After a few minutes, the younger kids in the family, who were at least 9 and 12 years old, joined in.
I don’t know where the family was from, but neither German nor English were their language – yet they counted and played just the same. It was one of those small moments of connection that, I truly believe, is the greatest part of traveling. That little moment that can happen in the most unexpected places.
So, when I saw this book and cover at the book fair, I picked it up. Although it had a slightly French look to it, nothing screams “Paris”. So I was shocked to discover that this book that reminded me of this amazing experience was also set in France. I was also pleased to discover that it is a Newberry Honor Winner in 1959. And I bet there are many stories from the banks of the Seine River similar to mine or the one in the book.