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L'enfance d'Alan by Emmanuel Guibert
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L'enfance d'Alan (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Emmanuel Guibert

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211495,208 (3.83)None
Member:bdantony2
Title:L'enfance d'Alan
Authors:Emmanuel Guibert
Info:L'Association (2012), Relié, 159 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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How the World Was: A California Childhood by Emmanuel Guibert (2012)

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In 1994 a French cartoonist named Emmanuel Gilbert met an American war veteran named Alan Cope. The two became fast friends and Emmanuel decided that Alan’s story needed to be shared with the world. Gilbert shared Cope’s experiences and story as an American GI in France in WWII in a graphic novel titled “Alan’s War.” But Gilbert was not done telling Alan’s story. He began working on his friend’s life growing up in California during the Great Depression. Sadly cope died before the work could be finished, but Gilbert continued work and “How the World Was” is the result. Gilbert captures Cope’s life growing up and what America was like during that time period in honor of his friend’s memory.

Gilbert is a master storyteller and illustrator and deftly honors his friend’s memory in this book. Instead of trying to create a plot or a story, Gilbert gives us snapshots of Cope’s life. Of what it was like to grow up in California, before WWII, before smog, before crowds, before anything that we consider “Californian” today. He captures the high and low points in the memories of Cope, of family, of life, and of the changes that occurred over time. He doesn’t try to sugarcoat things or try to create more drama than there is, Gilbert just tells Cope’s story. The art is beautiful and consists of soft lyrical watercolors in a muted tone that fit the time period and the journey well. And they give the reader a sense of what it was like growing up and living during that time.

This is a book that you’ll want to read and then go back to a few more times as you learn more about the history of the time period and of Cope’s memories. Gilbert has created a lasting memorial for his friend and it is well worth picking up. 4 out of 5 stars ( )
  zzshupinga | Jul 13, 2014 |
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