BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault [in Shelf Awareness]

“For the last time, NO PET!” Colette is told. But for this creative new-kid-in-town, an empty moving box quickly becomes the perfect device for introducing her titular “lost pet” to the neighborhood gang. “It’s… a parakeet,” Colette initially tells Albert and Tom, who appear outside her backyard. The boys propose seeking out Lily, because she has “huge binoculars” to help locate Colette’s avian ally who, Colette next declares, is blue “[w]ith a bit of yellow on its neck.” Colette continues to divulge delightful details during each encounter with a new friend, until the missing Marie-Antoinette is revealed to speak mostly French, have flown all over the world, and last ate a rattlesnake in the jungle. Suddenly, Colette has an entourage ready to revel in all her “truly amazing” adventures – at least until she gets called home for dinner.

Isabelle Arsenault, who lives in Montreal and is a three-time Governor General’s Literary Award winner, makes her charming debut as both writer and illustrator (her previous solo title, Alpha, was an ABC book). Her whimsical artistry sparkles here, as she uses just two colors – Marie-Antoinette’s blue and yellow – to emphasize the enchanting power of a child’s creativity. Colette’s yellow hoodie stands out on every page, as the children fall in line to follow her creative lead. Arsenault emphasizes the growing elaborateness of Colette’s fowl descriptions by adding color to what could be Marie-Antoinette’s domain – the bird feeder, a tree’s leaves, water fountain droplets; the more outrageous Colette’s avian adventures become, the more colorfully spectacular Marie-Antoinette grows. For picture book readers of all ages, Arsenault’s imagination celebration will prove irresistible.

Discover: When new-kid-on-the-block Colette invents a lost pet, she quickly learns that all the neighborhood kids are willing to help fuel her indomitable imagination.

Review: “Children’s & Young Adult,” Shelf Awareness, May 26, 2017

Readers: Children

Published: 2017


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