Emma's Journey

Overview

Emma's Journey is about a little sparrow named Emma who lives in New York City's Central Park. After her best friend Duckyduck departs on his first migration, Emma begins to spend time with her Uncle Bob, who entertains her with stories about his French ancestors. As Emma looks at his postcards of Paris, she begins to dream of seeing Paris for herself. Once winter arrives, she makes a very big decision.

This fifty-six page book includes more than forty color photographic ...

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Overview

Emma's Journey is about a little sparrow named Emma who lives in New York City's Central Park. After her best friend Duckyduck departs on his first migration, Emma begins to spend time with her Uncle Bob, who entertains her with stories about his French ancestors. As Emma looks at his postcards of Paris, she begins to dream of seeing Paris for herself. Once winter arrives, she makes a very big decision.

This fifty-six page book includes more than forty color photographic spreads of New York City, overlaid with Claire Frossard's magical illustrations of Emma's life. An inventive and poetic portrait of New York City, the images cover Central Park, Midtown, the Flatiron building, the Lower East Side, and the Brooklyn Bridge. And naturally we see a little of Paris as well!

Born in Versailles, France, Claire Frossard left for the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg in 1997. Since graduation, she has worked as an illustrator, creating children's books and drawings for the press. In 1998 she made her first trip to New York to visit her uncle Etienne. Over the next ten years, Claire dreamed of returning. Then, in 2009, she arrived back in New York with the beginnings of Emma's Journey in her suitcase and the address of Enchanted Lion Books in her pocket. Emma's Journey, melding Claire's words and illustrations with Etienne's photographs, is the fruit of their shared passion for New York.

Etienne Frossard is a freelance photographer who lives in Brooklyn. He was born in 1956 and grew up in France. His pictures have appeared in Newsweek, Time Out New York, Metropolis, and New York Living. His Brooklyn Bridge images have received many awards.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ostensibly about a perky sparrow's journey to France, this uncle-niece team's debut devotes most of its energy to Manhattan and Brooklyn. Spurred on by stories of the family's immigration to the United States ("Since his retirement, Uncle Bob had become passionate about genealogy"), Emma decides to visit Paris. "Oh, my sweet, but you are still so small," says her mother, who nevertheless packs her a jar of worm jam and a thermos of tea. The book is initially illustrated by Claire Frossard's cartoons of Emma's life in Central Park, which give way to Etienne Frossard's photographs of New York City by winter; the photos are augmented by Claire's drawings of Emma, who wears a sailor hat and pink rubber rain boots as she visits familiar New York landmarks ("This looks just like a big slice of cake," she comments on the Flatiron Building). Chatty Emma makes her way across the city at sparrow-speed; not until near the end does she actually set off for France. Some may chafe at the slow pace and loosely plotted story, but this cozy odyssey should find some ardent fans. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"Author-artist Claire Frossard's text and acrylic drawings overlay her uncle Etienne Frossard's street photography. Cartoon birds and other critters populate photos of familiar city locales - Greeley Square, Orchard Street, the Brooklyn Bridge - in slushy winter. When Emma eventually reaches her goal, spying a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, we are happy for her - if a little wistful about losing her bird's eye view of our city." - Carolyn Juris, Time Out New York Kids

"This cozy odyssey should find some ardent fans." - Publishers Weekly

"A Captivating children's book with breathtaking illustrations that will make any reader look twice! Highly recommended." - The Midwest Review of Books

Recommended by Assn. Region XI School Librarians, Fort Worth, TX.

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Emma, a pompom-hatted young sparrow, lives in a Central Park tree with her parents. When her friend Duckduck migrates, restless Emma goes to visit her Brooklyn-residing Uncle Bob, who fills her in on family history. Learning about a cousin in Paris, Emma decides to travel there. First she explores a bit of New York in winter. Then, cold and hungry, she finds Old Joe, a friendly rat, who agrees to sail across the ocean with her. After preparing all winter, they leave New York, brave the wild ocean, and arrive triumphantly in Paris, where Emma eats her first croissant. Double-page scenes combine crisply colored photographs as backgrounds with the small anthropomorphic birds and animals that supply the adventures. The scale of the painted characters is just right; they fit naturalistically into the city scenes. An occasional map supplies useful information as an introduction to New York City. This imaginative, charming, light-hearted fantasy should have a broad and appreciative audience. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—When her friend Duck migrates south for the winter, Emma, a sparrow living in New York City's Central Park, feels left behind. After hearing family stories of faraway Paris from Uncle Bob, she decides to migrate overseas. The ensuing excursion becomes a vehicle for the Frossards' illustrations, a combined effort of crisp, realistic photographs of Manhattan in winter and the imaginary, cartoon drawings of Emma and her world. The text is best suited for reading aloud and conveys Emma's excitement and apprehension of traveling but the illustrations steal the show. As Emma begins her voyage, she visits Broadway, Greeley Square, the Flatiron building, and a sidewalk café before arriving beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to meet Old Joe, a rat who will help her sail across the ocean. The lifelike photographs show the hustle and enormity of the city from a perspective that befits Emma's small size and accurately depicts city life. The cartoon drawings inserted into the pictures use illustrated thought bubbles to tell the visual story of the other small animals' lives. A mouse even has his own hot-dog stand. The story wraps up quickly as Emma and Old Joe cross the ocean and arrive on the banks of the Seine, completing her quest. The visual and textual representation of the Big Apple from Emma's bird's-eye point of view is likely to appeal to children, particularly those who desire to venture beyond their own backyards.—Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews

An elegant idea becomes a rather inelegant mish-mash, as the author/illustrator combines her tale with her uncle's photographs. Emma is a sparrow, a rounded figure with polka-dot boots, a red pom-pom on her white beret and little wings that work like hands. She lives in Central Park and loves to ride on her best friend Duckyduck's back as he swims. ButDuckyduck is migrating for the winter, and lonely Emma ends up at retired Uncle Bob's. He recounts how their family migrated from Paris, and Emma decides to go there, but she needs to find Captain Joe, who lives near the Brooklyn Bridge. The illustrations consist mostly of Claire Frossard's small, colorful figures placed on Etienne Frossard's large and striking photographs of New York in winter. The visual narrative includes plenty of amusing side details (especially enjoyable are pictorial thought-bubbles), but Emma's story is overlong and meandering, more a vehicle for the images than their integral complement. Though frequently fanciful and amusing, the parts never quite weave into a coherent whole. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592700998
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 56
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Claire Frossard: Born in Versailles, not far from the famous Château, Claire Frossard left for Alsace in 1997 to pursue her studies at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. Since then, she has worked in a small studio as an illustrator, creating children's books and drawings for the press. In 1998, she made her first trip to New York to visit her uncle Etienne, who is a photographer by profession. As so many before her, Claire fell in love with New York. Over the next ten years, Claire dreamed of returning. Then, early in 2009, she finally arrived back in New York, with the sparse beginnings of Emma's Journey in her suitcase and the address of Enchanted Lion Books in her pocket. Emma's Journey is a melding of Claire's words and illustrations and Etienne's photographs and is the fruit of the passion that they share for New York.

Etienne Frossard: Etienne Frossard is a freelance photographer who lives and work in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in 1956 and grew up in France.
His pictures have appeared in magazines like Newsweek, Time Out New York, Metropolis and New York Living.
His Brooklyn Bridge images have received awards from Advertising Photographers of America, The New York Foundation for the Arts and Pdn World in Focus.

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