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Charlotte in Giverny Paperback – March 1, 2007


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Charlotte in Giverny + Charlotte in Paris + Charlotte in New York
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Charlotte
  • Paperback: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811858030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811858038
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Part faux diary, part scrapbook, this charming volume teeters between picture book and novel. Through the 1892 "journal" of young Charlotte Glidden, daughter of a fictitious Boston painter, Knight (Bon App?tit, Bertie) uncovers the inner workings of an artist's colony that sprang up near Claude Monet's home in France. Charlotte's enthusiastic, detailed reports emulate the more leisurely pace of 19th-century daily life in Giverny, and her perceptions of French culture and customs, art and artists give readers the distinct feeling of looking over her shoulder. Knight adroitly pins the substance of her tale to 16 Impressionist paintings, some of which are attributed to characters in the book. For instance, Charlotte describes her friend Edith Perry sitting for a portrait her mother is painting, and the painter turns out to be Lilla Cabot Perry. Similarly, Theodore Robinson's The Wedding March appears in Charlotte's diary entry about the marriage of Suzanne Monet to American artist Theodore Butler. Knight also works in paintings by other Impressionists who don't appear in the narrative but who did spend time at Giverny, such as an unusually informal painting by John Singer Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. Sweet (Leaving Vietnam) adds to the visual mix with a whimsical patchwork of sprightly watercolors and small-scale collages made from scraps of fabric, stamps, period photographs, a mini-picture glossary of French words and the like. Closing with a brief description of each painting and biography of each artist, this is a most appealing art history lesson. Ages 6-10.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-Similar in theme and style to Christina Bj?rk's Linnea in Monet's Garden (R & S Bks, 1987), this story depicts the period of a young American girl's life spent with her family in the French countryside in the early 1890s. Presented in a journal/scrapbook format, the narrative describes Charlotte's family's arrival in Giverny, where her father plans to paint, and the ambience of the bucolic community where Monet reigns as an impressive, if somewhat remote, artistic master. The passing of the seasons is recounted through a series of social, domestic, creative, and pastoral pastimes. Despite her enjoyment of Giverny's agreeable diversions, Charlotte is mildly homesick until she learns that her best friend and her family will be joining them soon. Thus, the only real tension in the story is facilely resolved. All of the entries are amply illustrated with fine-art reproductions; historical photographs; and whimsical, na?ve watercolors. The craftsmanship of the bookmaking lends the impression of a real journal with its binding and typeface. A list of credits identifying the famous paintings and artists is included. However, while attractive, the narrative lacks verve and fails to place the story in its adequate historical perspective. Impressionism and Monet's place in this pivotal artistic movement are not adequately addressed here. While this pretty book may be useful as supplemental material, it is ultimately derivative and lackluster.
Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For anyone, child or adult, who has even a passing interest in the arts, "Charlotte in Giverny" is a kind of magical time-machine disguised as a children's book that takes the reader into the world of artists and villagers who had the good fortune to find themselves in Giverny, the revered artist's colony outside of Paris, in the late 1800's. Presented as the diary of a young girl who travels to Giverny from Boston with her parents (her father is a painter) in 1892, "Charlotte in Giverny" is rife with the joy of discovery. Charlotte is heartbroken at first because she has to leave her best friend behind. But then her adventures begin: on board ship, in awe-inspiring Paris, and throughout the year in the beautiful Normandy countryside where Charlotte makes new friends, plants a potager and even attends the wedding of Monsieur Monet's daughter. Reproductions of Impressionist paintings, postcards, photographs and ephemera from the period, as well as charming watercolor and collage illustrations by Melissa Sweet lend the book a quality both authentic and eye-pleasing. A rare and unusual treat, a treasure of a book for all ages to enjoy.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "ebienotte" on October 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Charlotte in Giverny is truly magical--its absolutely transporting! One truly gets the sense of what it must have been like to travel to and live in France as an american girl in the 1890's. The wonderful thing about Charlotte as a character is that she has such a strong and inspired voice--and what a sense of adventure! Lush paintings of the period jump off the pages--and the use of old postcards, stationary, and photgraphs lend to a sense of travelling back in time. Melissa Sweet's drawings complement Charlotte's adventures beautifully. Via Charlotte's keen and curious eye-we see not only Monet the master come to life-but the multitude of American painters who made their lives and art in Giverny. It is the mark of a truly gifted writer to breathe life into those who have long since left us-and Joan Knight has done just that. Monet is mysterious, Charlotte's dog Toby mischievous, and Giverny glaringly alive. There is romance, friendship, and adventure on the pages of this book--it is an absolute classic and should not be missed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For anyone, child or adult, who has even a passing interest in the arts, "Charlotte in Giverny" is a kind of magical time-machine disguised as a children's book that takes the reader into the world of artists and villagers who had the good fortune to find themselves in Giverny, the revered artist's colony outside of Paris, in the late 1800's. Presented as the diary of a young girl who travels to Giverny from Boston with her parents (her father is a painter) in the 1890's, "Charlotte in Giverny" is rife with the joy of discovery. Charlotte (a girl with a sense of mischief) is heartbroken in the beginning at having to leave her best friend behind, but grows eager to explore her new world. Through her eyes, we make new friends, see new places, learn new things. Her shipboard departure from Boston, her awed introduction to Paris, and the year she lives in the beautiful Normandy countryside, are all richly illustrated. Reproductions of Impressionist paintings, postcards, photographs and ephemera from the period, as well as charming watercolor and collage illustrations by Melissa Sweet give the book a visual quality that's authentic and beautiful. The result is a rare and unusual treat, a treasure of a book for all ages to enjoy.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of Charlotte, a little girl who lived in the 1890s. She travels to Giverny with her parents, who are going to paint. She loves it in Giverny but misses her friend very badly. She lives next door to the Perrys and becomes very good friends with one of their daughters. She loves the dog they own. She wants one just like him. For Christmas her wish comes true. She finds a little dog in her shoe on Christmas morning and names it Toby. Then she gets a letter from her friend that says she is going to go to Giverny to see her. It is a great book that everyone should enjoy. In it you can learn some french words.
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