Paul, who lives in a trailer, and Sebastian, who lives in an apartment, are discouraged from playing with each other, until they get lost together during a class outing.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyPaul and his mother live in a green trailer with blue curtains while Sebastian and his mother live in a blue apartment with green curtains. The two mothers look out their windows at the other's home, despising those who live differently than they do and warning their sons about playing together. But when a school picnic in the country is interrupted by a heavy rainstorm, Paul and Sebastian seek shelter in a little red cabin and quickly become friends. A mix-up occurs when the boys are found, much later that night: in the dark, Paul's mother takes home Sebastian and Sebastian's mother takes home Paul. When the boys are restored to their homes, the mothers realize how silly they have been and become friends. In a noncontroversial way, Ecudie introduces the universal problem of prejudice. Both in the text and in the illustrations, the similarities between the two boys and the two mothers are clear, and the reasons for disliking each other are trivial and arbitrary. With Wensell's buoyant scenes of urban life in full color, the story's exaggerations give it broadly comic appeal. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2-- In this translation of a French picture book, one boy's mother is prejudiced against those who live in trailers and another mother is prejudiced against those who live in apartments. As a result, each son is forbidden to play with the other. One day, the boys take refuge together during a storm. They share some food, exchange their jacket and sweater, and fall asleep. Their mothers arrive and mistakenly take the wrong son home in the dark. The next morning they discover the switch, and they become friends. Although the moral of this story is a positive one (even at the expense of poor parental role models), the execution of it is weak. The prose is repetitious and even absurd to an American ear, particularly when Sebastian's mother tells Paul to go away because he doesn't ``smell of cleaning fluid or heating oil, or steak, or noodles'' and that he ``smells bad.'' The art, in contrast, is colorful and simple with a pastel crayon look. The big-nosed humans are portrayed identically but with different colored moppy hair. While Paul and Sebastian may be acceptable on a didactic level, its literary value or appeal is questionable. --Marianne Pilla, formerly at Long Beach Public Library, N.Y.
- Child's World, Incorporated, The
- Publication date:
- The 'I Love to Read' Collection: Read Aloud Series
- Edition description:
- English ed
- Product dimensions:
- 4.82(w) x 7.34(h) x 0.35(d)
- Age Range:
- 7 - 9 Years
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