Review Blog

Feb 14 2017

The sisters Saint-Claire by Carlie Gibson and Tamsin Ainslie

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760291563
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Cooking. Siblings. Markets. Rhyming tale. A wonderful rhyming story about five mouse sisters, Harriet, Violet, Minette, Beatrice and Cecile, living with their parents, Odette and Pierre in France. The youngest mouse, Cecile is a wonderful cook, and the siblings love going to the market on Sunday, knowing that when they return Cecile will have cooked them a tasty array of treats. But one Sunday she asks to go with them. The girls all offer reasons for her to stay at home and cook, but her parents tell them that it is time for Cecile to see the world. She cooks before they go, setting up a stall at the market for the day. But no one buys her pies. By the end of the day when other stalls are empty and the bunting is being taken down, the Queen arrives with great fanfare. She loves Cecile's pies and tells her that she will return every week just for her pies. From that day on, Cecile takes her place at the market every week, with her family helping with the sales.
This wonderful story will be read aloud by one and all, as the readers relish getting their tongues around the names of the the pies Cecile makes. The inventive rhymes and word puns will make many readers giggle as they take in the array of words offered. I loved the inclusion of French words recognising that some French words are now very much part of our speech.
Readers will delight in this family of mice, the food words, the market and the French background, offering a view of a different way of life.
The soft pastel illustrations are a delight, reflecting the French town in which they live: the small streets, cafes, the Sunday market and the clothing. The mice prance their way across the pages, entrancing all who read of Cecile's growing independence.
Fran Knight

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Prime Minister's Literary Awards shortlist 2020
Teens' Top Ten 2020
Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist 2021
Children's Book Award UK 2020
Little Rebels Award 2020
CBCA Book Awards 2020

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Feel good and uplifting books for staff
Online Children's Storytime Websites List
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Children's Laureate's charter