Thursday 10 October 2013

Meeting Cezanne

Meeting Cezanne by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Francois Place (Walker Books)
HC RRP $19.95
ISBN 9781406313796
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Yannick is sent to his Aunt Mathilde in Provence when his mother becomes ill. She’d prepared him by repeatedly showing him a book of Cezanne’s paintings, and by telling him everything about Uncle Bruno, his cousin Amandine, and the village inn where they worked.

But first love strikes when he meets his older and beautiful cousin. Amandine is at once bossy and alternatively ignores him. But Uncle Bruno takes him under his wing and teaches him to cook and bake.

But it is when a painter leaves a drawing on the tablecloth as a reward for Yannick’s wonderful crème brulee that things go awry. Unknowing, Yannick throws it into the fire and must then make restitution by replacing it with another. But which artist does he go to and who is the man who draws the new picture for Yannick?

A beautiful told tale of first love and awakenings, of surprises and lessons learnt, with the artistic setting of Provence as background and the excellence of Michael Morpurgo’s fluid prose. Francois Place’s delicate illustrations complement the text beautifully by bringing the characters and setting to life.

1 comment:

  1. I heard the author read this at the State Library when he was out here, but I thought it was a short story? Maybe he's extended it into a novel? I even know which artist he meets! :-) No spoilers here!


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