The drawings of the animals packed into the car, eager to get to Paris, and of the farmer examining the bill at the restaurant at the end of the day, are both worth the price of admission. And Stock has a lovely and a lively eye for Parisian detail; so simple and familiar a thing as the round end of Notre Dame is done with considerable sprezzaturra.Adam Gopnik
A French farmer's impromptu holiday in Paris turns out to be more taxing than relaxing when his animals join him for the jaunt in this lighthearted picture book. Monsieur Monmouton works hard tending to all the chores on his small plot of land. But he receives some help-and some much-appreciated company-in the summertime when he welcomes a gaggle of Parisians who camp in his field by the river. The city folk, grateful for their summer retreat spot, invite Monsieur to visit Paris sometime. The cows, sheep, pigs and other livestock pals think that's a fine idea and pile into the farmer's truck. After a day of taking in all the sights-from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre and the Follies Berg re-the whole cacophonous crew heads back to the barn. The farmer may be exhausted, but in the last spread, the barnyard denizens are busily leafing through "Zatcat" and "Mooma Art" guides, perhaps foreshadowing a transatlantic trip. Stock's straightforward text follows a pleasant story line, but never quite matches the zing of her engaging illustrations. The loose-lined watercolors teem with skillfully selected and detailed scenes of both Paris and the surrounding countryside. Her spreads seem to crackle with activity whether her characters are standing in the pasture or sailing down the Seine on the bateau mouche. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
PreS-Gr 2-Parisians love to camp near Monsieur Monmouton's farm in the summer and regale him with stories of life in the city. "I have always wanted to visit Paris," the man says wistfully, "But who would look after my animals?" Never fear, when he opens the barn door the next morning he discovers that the animals have packed themselves into his truck and are ready to go. "Eh bien," he says, and they are off. The creatures have a wonderful day in the city, visiting the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Eiffel Tower, and even the Follies Berg re. However, their owner arrives home exhausted, and all he can say about traveling with his companions is "Never again.- holidays are far too much work for me." Meanwhile, the animals are planning their next big trip. Stock's illustrations, done in watercolor with several spreads, are exceptional. She has painted humorous expressions on the animals' faces as well as a befuddled look on that of Monsieur Monmouton. Nevertheless, readers are left waiting for a punch line that never really arrives. Acceptable as a supplemental purchase.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Anyone for a quick day trip to Paris? A muttered comment from hardworking Monsieur Monmouton that he needs a vacation is all the prompting his livestock needs to pile into the car. Gallic to the core, the farmer shrugs, "Eh bien, let's go!" And they're off: to check out the fashions on the Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore; drift up and down the Seine in a bateau mouche; view the city from atop the Eiffel Tower; then dance the cancan at the Follies Bergere. Stock depicts Parisian sights and streets, as well as their urbane residents, in freely brushed watercolors that expertly capture both the tale's tongue-in-cheek tone, and the animals' unflagging enthusiasm. The next morning, Monsieur Monmouton wearily rounds up his furred and feathered tour group, vowing never to take another holiday-but the sheep, chickens, and the rest are already nose/muzzle/beak deep in New York City travel brochures. Will young armchair tourists line up for repeat visits? Mais oui. (Picture book. 6-8)