Tag Archives: Isabelle Malenfant

Pablo Finds a Treasure

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Pablo Finds a Treasure

by Andree Poulin, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Annick Press, 2016

A poignant story about Pablo and his sister Sofia who survive by going to the garbage dump every day to salvage recyclable waste.  A glimpse into a life most of us do now know, but plenty of children across the world do.

Bickering, like most brother and sisters do, Pablo and Sofia scurry off to treasure mountain.  The truck is coming!  Sofia rushes to the front.  Sofia finds a blue boot.  When Pablo says it’s too big, she says, “That’s good.  You can wear it longer.”  They cull through the garbage looking for scraps of paper and plastic their mother can sell for recycling.  If they get enough, maybe their mama can buy half a chicken for dinner.  Pablo finds a book and yearns to read, but practical Sofia scoffs, “Reading won’t fill your stomach!”

Pablo finds a gold chain.  Maybe he can get a book.  Soon Filthy-Face arrives and all the children flee like wild rabbits.  Sofia gets away, but Filthy-Face snatches Pablo’s things.  Sofia is angry he did not give the chain to her and now it is gone, but is it?

A refreshing look into the lives of the very poor and how they find their own joy and happiness.  Ideal for discussions.

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Down Here

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Down Here
by Valerie Sherrard, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2015

Jamie can build anything, but while his brother and sister get compliments for their talents, Jamie only gets, “Look at this mess.”  Inside Jamie’s latest creation he rockets to the moon, builds a tricky maze no one can enter and invites his dragon to roast marshmallows, but his mother calls it, “Chaos!  Pandemonium!”  Jamie climbs a table to see what his mother sees and realizes from up high it really is a mess.  Then he gets an idea and invites her “Down here” to see what he sees.  Reluctantly she bends over and looks, then sits down as her eyes get bigger and bigger.  What does she see?  Jamie, a creative hero, figures out himself how to change his world to get the outcome he craves.  An empowering tale for young, creative spirits.

Illustrator Isabelle Malenfant mixes mediums to create a poetic and sensitive portrayal of Jamie’s world.

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