Saturday, January 2, 2010

I LOVE Charlotte

I first read about Joan MacPhail Knight's Charlotte books over at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup. The premise is that Charlotte Glidden is a girl living with her parents and brother in France at the turn of the century (1894) so her father can paint with the impressionists "en plein aire". She just happens to be the neighbor of Monsieur Monet in Giverny. While Charlotte and her family are fictional, almost all of their friends and neighbors are real impressionist painters that lived in France at the time. The book is written as Charlotte's journal and she goes on many adventures with her family from her beloved Giverny. Her father takes the family to Paris when he exhibits some paintings there in an art gallery, thus Book 2 (Charlotte in Paris) comes about. They then spend some time in New York (near Charlotte's hometown of Boston)while her father does another exhibit.

These books are so full of delightful characters, real art from the artists mentioned,travel, quaint European cottages, French words and recipes! All of my favorite things in my simple version of life. And, Melissa Sweet's watercolors are a delightful and whimsical contrast to the paintings rendered in the books. My kids LOVE them as do I! I cannot wait to read Charlotte in London and I checked Knight's website to find that she is researching her next adventure Charlotte. Can't wait to see where she goes next. I hope its... Italy but I don't think many impressionists hung out there. Bummer.

Check this out! A Charlotte doll! How cute! Too bad Christmas is over and birthdays are months away....


Brook Stableford said...

This is truly inspiring. Barbara Kingsolver will be presenting writers' workshops at the San Miguel Writers Conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico February 19-23 2010. I just signed up. It looks like a rare opportunity to meet her. Are you going?

Jen W. said...

I wish I could but we'll be in Florida then on vacation. What a great opportunity!