Adele & Simon

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Adele & Simon Book Poster Image
Instant classic is like a kid tour of 1900s Paris.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this beautifully illustrated story contains adventure, art, and plenty to look at as Adele and Simon make their way home through the streets of Paris. It contains nothing offensive or objectionable.

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What's the story?

As Simon walks home from school, through the streets of Paris with his older sister Adele, they are both caught up in the excitement of the city. They stop by the grocer, the park, the natural history museum, a bakery, and an art museum. They even stop to watch a puppet show, a parade, and an acrobatic show.

Along the way they make new friends and meet old ones, and Simon loses one thing after the other. By the time they get home he no longer has his drawing of a cat, his books, scarf, crayons, gloves, hat, crayons, backpack, jacket, or sweater. However, they have had a day of happy adventures and pleasant memories in a world where friends, new and old, enjoy and help one another.

Is it any good?

Anyone traveling to Paris with their kids should definitely read this book, but armchair travelers will enjoy it, too. The adventures of ADELE & SIMON are memorable, the places they go are real places, and their book is the real deal. From cover to cover, it's a classic.

With gentle color and delicately drawn sketches, Barbara McClintock has painted so much realistic detail into each scene that the missing books or crayons or hat seem almost inconsequential ... even though, with careful searching, each can be found. With a slight twist at the end, the story develops in a simple and inevitable way. However, the artistic and historical richness of each page, including the covers and endpapers, make this a book that will be memorable to both kids and adults.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the places Adele and Simon go. Does Paris seem like a fun city to visit? Out of all the places that Adele and Simon go in Paris, which would you like most to see, and why?

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