Paris-Chien – Adventures of an Ex-pat Dog written and illustrated by Jackie Clark Mancuso
I have a new third culture kid book to share with you this week.
I love, love, love this book. J’aime ce livre.
It’s simple, amusing and yet it will reverberate with any child who is thrust into a new country, new city or new school and faces homesickness and the challenge of making new friends.
Of course, who can resist a story about a feisty Terrier and the charms of Paris?
In this story, Hudson moves to Paris with his owner. He loves Paris where dogs are never left at home and adorn shops, boulevards, boulangeries, parks (except those that have “no dogs allowed” signs) and even restaurants and cafes. However, he is bitterly disappointed when he discovers French dogs speak French and he cannot communicate. He suddenly feels sad and lonely in this new place. His owner enrolls him in French school. His teacher, Madame Vera, is a French poodle. There he learns new words, makes friends and to his amazement, soon begins to understand what other dogs and people are saying. He even has a new girlfriend, Francoise. I love this simple statement at the end of the book:
“Paris is a cool place when you have friends.”
Jackie Clark Mancuso’s bright gouache paintings of dogs and scenes of Paris, Parisien life and French culture brings this story to life… and quite honestly, makes me homesick for France.
I also appreciate that the author paints a diverse picture of Paris, with people of different ethnicities and cultures, selling and buying delicious and fresh foods at the open markets or “marche.”
I think Jackie needs to write a sequel where Hudson returns to the US and has to deal with reverse culture shock! (Actually, there is a sequel called Hudson in Provence which I’m looking forward to reading)
Paris-Chien is gem of a book and perfect for any third culture kid who has the courage like Hudson to learn a new language and make new friends in a new place.
La Fin (the end)