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An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis
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An Armadillo in Paris

by Julie Kraulis

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3519321,274 (4.13)4
  1. 00
    Toot & Puddle: Top of the World by Holly Hobbie (shaberstroh)
    shaberstroh: Both stories involve animal characters involving travel and clues to search for something.
  2. 00
    Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (CarolineMCarrico)
    CarolineMCarrico: Both of these children's books are set in Paris and feature inquisitive main characters.
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Arlo the armadillo (why an armadillo I wonder) follows in his grandfather's footsteps on his first visit to Paris. He is there to meet the mysterious "Iron Lady". Clues from his grandfather's journal are combined with visual clues in the oil and graphite illustrations, leading Arlo on a tour of Paris, visiting many landmarks along the way.

The charming illustrations are sweet, dreamy, and fun with bright splashes of color. The cover is very attractive (who can resist a bright red sports car?) and a good introduction to a lovely book.
  JDHofmeyer | Sep 13, 2017 |
This review was written for NetGalley and is cross-posted there and on Amazon.

"Arlo feels it. The twitch in his left claw. The twitch that only stops when adventure begins ..."

When Arlo is born, his grandfather, Augustin, writes a series of journals which detail Augustin's favorite places. He knows that Arlo will want to follow in his traveling footsteps because "curiosity has run in their nine-banded family for as long as anyone can remember." For his first trip, Arlo decides to go to Paris and follow his grandfather's clues to the Dame de Fer, the Iron Lady. Who is this mysterious Lady, and where will Arlo find her?

Whimsical and charming oil and graphite drawings lead young readers on a hunt for her through some of Paris' most famous landmarks. The illustrations, in two-page spreads, also feature text that tells the story in two ways. Augustin's journal entries recount his own experiences in the city, and third person present tense narration tells of Arlo's parallel trip. French words are interspersed and defined throughout the story.

The use of geography is similar to M. Sasek's This Is Paris, and the way the narrative flows past illustrations of Parisian landmarks reminds one of Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline. Arlo holds his own against these antecedents and cuts a cute figure across Paris. He is drawn in white and a silvery gray and wears a scarf the colors of the French flag. His movements and mannerisms are subtle and natural.

Arlo's interest in solving the mystery fosters curiosity, thoughtfulness, and outside the box thinking. The joy of discovering new things is displayed vibrantly. Arlo's fearlessness can be used to show children that new places and things can be exciting, not intimidating. The text also can be used to introduce foreign language learning to early readers. The book lacks its own map of Arlo's journey, but it would be easy to trace his route and look at photos of some of the landmarks.

An Armadillo in Paris is lovely. Kraulis' illustrations have an almost shimmery quality to them. Arlo's inquisitiveness and jaunty, intrepid attitude make him easy to like. The wily Augustin's journals provide a wry counterpoint. Children will relate to the free-spiritedness, as will adults who love Paris or traveling. One hopes this is the first of many trips Arlo makes in his grandfather's footsteps.

(Disclaimer: This review is based on a free .acsm e-ARC provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. No further compensation was received, and my review was not influenced by the free copy. All opinions expressed in the review are mine alone.)

NB: This review originally was entered on LT on 8/24/14 and was reentered, without edits, on 5/28/16. ( )
  LibraryPerilous | May 28, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Delightful!! The illustrations are so charming, and Arlo is a lovable character through which we can experience the City of Lights. Children likely will not understand the hinting about the Iron Lady, but adults will :) Worth a re-read; gorgeous.
  theresearcher | Feb 13, 2016 |
Sightseeing in Paris with Arlo the Armadillo. A delightful tour. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
School age ( )
  melodyreads | May 5, 2015 |
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A winsome armadillo from Brazil takes a trip to Paris in this delightful new picture book from Julie Kraulis. Arlo is an armadillo who is always up for adventure. His grandfather, Augustin, loved adventure too. When Arlo was born, Augustin wrote travel journals about his favorite places for Arlo to use when he was hold enough to go exploring on his own. When Arlo reads about Paris and the one the French call La Dame de Fer, or Iron Lady, he decides it's time to strike out on his first adventure. He travels to France and, guided by Augustin's journal, discovers the joys of Paris: eating a flakey croissant at a cafe , visiting the Louvre, walking along the Seine and, of course, meeting the Iron Lady... But who is she? Each spread has a clue about her identity, and kids will see hints of her scattered throughout the book.… (more)

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