Posted on March 2nd, 2016 by pajamapress
“As soon as I read Elliot, I knew it was something very, very special. And then I learned that Elliot was a translation (capably handled by Pajama Press’ Managing Editor Erin Woods) of a 2014 French-language picture book from Les 400 coups that had already won Le Prix du livre jeunesse des Bibliothèques de Montréal for 2015. Its subtlety and poignancy ensures its sure status as a winner in English as well!
…Elliot is a heartfelt story about finding one’s true family, the one that will love and care for you forever. It might be a foster family, it may be the family you’re born into, or it might be the one that ultimately adopts you, as Elliot is fortunate to find. But Julie Pearson embues the story of Elliot with an underlying sadness, for Elliot who is being a child and for his parents who try to do the best they can for him but can’t quite manage it. And Manon Gauthier’s subtle collages of muted colours, save for Elliot’s red striped shirt, express that sadness and the grayness of tenuous family so movingly. I defy anyone to read Elliot and not cry for the emotional hardships Elliot braves and cheer for the rosy blush of happiness (with a splash of red text) that comes when Elliot becomes part of a new family.
There are very few picture books that I want to clutch a little tighter and hold onto in my heart a little longer. Elliot is one that has touched me so.”
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