In the spirit of The Little Prince, this fantasy about the adventures of a shipwrecked brother and sister is a book for young people best appreciated by grown-ups. At the heart of its message is an impassioned plea for the magic and power of words.
Jeanne, the tough-minded ten-year-old narrator, and Thomas, fourteen, are traveling to America on an ocean liner to visit one of their parents when a violent storm sinks their ship and tosses them up on an island. They are unhurt, but the shock of the experience leaves them unable to speak. Taken into the care of Monsieur Henri, an elderly islander, Jeanne and Thomas discover that the island is unlike any place they've ever been. There is the Word market, where Monsieur Henri visits the Poets' and Song-Writers' Corner to see if they have any rhymes for sweet and mom. At town hall, pairs of words are married by the mayor. Jeanne sneaks off to the Vocabulary of Love Shop, where a woman whose husband has left her wants to buy "a word that will make him understand how hurt I am, a mighty word that will make him ashamed."
This grammar book disguised as a whimsical little novel was a best-seller in France. Set on a fantastic desert island somewhere between France and America, it features two children--Jeanne and Thomas--who are washed ashore when their ship sinks. On the island, they are initiated into the mysteries of the place by Monsieur Henri--including the Poets' and Song-Writers' Corner and the Vocabulary of Love shop. In the process, he also teaches them about language and how it works.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Conflicts + Dualities, Settings, Literary, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Family + Friendship, Disasters
- May 1, 2004
- May 1, 2004
- Moishe Black , Erik Orsenna