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Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson
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Marguerite Makes a Book

by Bruce Robertson

Other authors: Kathryn Hewitt (Illustrator)

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Showing 5 of 5
Who would have thought that bookmaking would so capture my children's imaginations? Sure, they love books, but I thought it was just the stories inside that intrigued them.

Both Bruce Robertson's words and Kathryn Hewitt's illustrations captivated both my 11yo daughter and my nearly 7yo son....and me, to be honest. I read aloud to my children almost daily, and finding a book that is a joy for me to read makes that practice much more pleasant. We enjoyed the amount of detail Robertson goes into describing the ink-making process, and that he uses the terms "vermilion" and "lapis lazuli" (rather than just "minerals" as another book we read did). I'm going to have to keep an eye on the eggs in our fridge in case my children get the idea to emulate Marguerite.

I also loved that we got to follow Marguerite around as she gathered supplies from around Paris. My kids were not impressed, however, when I completed the first sentence of the book---"In a small house in Paris..."---with "...that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."

Like I said, I read aloud a lot, and the old favorites have a way of sticking in my mind. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jul 22, 2016 |
Set in Paris in the 1400s, this engaging work of historical fiction for the picture-book set follows the story of Marguerite, daughter of Papa Jacques, one of the most renowned book-makers in the city. Growing older, with failing eyesight, Marguerite's father struggles to finish his latest commission - a beautifully illuminated Book of Hours intended for his patroness, the Lady Isabelle. When an accident puts him out of commission for a time, Marguerite steps in to finish the last few pages of the book, doing such an excellent job that her father introduces her as his most talented assistant.

With illustrations that perfectly match the theme of the story - I loved the decorative borders on many of the pages, and appreciated both the vivid colors used throughout, and the general beauty of each scene, whether on the streets on Paris or in Marguerite's father's workshop - and an appealing heroine who steps up when facing a challenge, Marguerite Makes a Book manages to be beautiful, educational and entertaining. Children will learns quite a bit about book-making in late medieval times, before the invention of the printing-press, and gain an appreciation for the craftsmanship involved in book illustration, while also enjoying a story about a girl who helps her beloved father, when he is in need. A glossary at the rear gives the definition of many of the terms used in the story, adding another educational dimension to the book. I did wonder about the issue of gender, and whether girls ever did follow their fathers into their respective trades in real life - it would have been nice to have an afterword discussing this - but leaving that aside, this was an outstanding book! Recommended to young readers who enjoy historical fiction, are interested in medieval Europe, or are curious about book-making in times past. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 14, 2013 |
This was a wonderful book with wonderful examples of illumination, extremely informative and beautiful to look at. The children were inspired to illuminate! ( )
  momma2 | Jul 14, 2011 |
An excellent teaching book, providing numerous launching places for further inquiry. However, I've become increasingly dissatisfied with the illustrations. It's not merely that the faces are too big for the bodies in most cases, but the perspective seems off. I'd recommend that this one be checked out, but not purchased.
  mebrock | Jul 24, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bruce Robertsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hewitt, KathrynIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 089236372X, Hardcover)

Paris in the 1400s. A young girl named Marguerite delights in assisting her father, Jacques, in his craft: illuminating manuscripts for the nobility of France. His current commission is a splendid book of hours for his patron, Lady Isabelle, but will he be able to finish it in time for Lady Isabelle's name day?
In this richly illustrated tale, Marguerite comes to her father's aid. She journeys all over Paris buying goose feathers for quills, eggs for mixing paints, dried plants and ground minerals for pigments. Then she expertly finishes the illumination of Lady Isabelle's book, to the delight of her father and his patron. This delightful book, brought to life by the finely detailed, evocative art of a renowned children's artists, was inspired by an illuminated manuscript in the collection of the Getty Museum.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:41 -0400)

In medieval Paris, Marguerite helps her nearly blind father finish painting an illuminated manuscript for his patron, Lady Isabelle.

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