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Antoinette (Gaston and Friends) Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—DiPucchio and Robinson follow up Gaston, their book about a French bulldog in a family of poodles, with a tale about his pal Antoinette, the lone poodle in a litter of French bulldogs. Antoinette's siblings all have special talents, but she's not sure what makes her stand out. All that changes, however, the day that Antoinette's and Gaston's families meet up and Gaston's sister Ooh-La-La goes missing. Stalwart Antoinette refuses to give up in the face of adversity and soon proves herself. Expressive and energetic, Robinson's acrylic illustrations are full of details that establish the Parisian setting, from the Eiffel Tower in the background to the beret on a painter in the park, and the climactic moment takes place in the Louvre, on the famed Winged Victory of Samothrace statue. The images have a flat, almost childlike feeling, with the artist using simple shapes to portray characters and objects and convey a sense of whimsy that matches the text. The focus is the dogs, but many ethnically diverse people appear in the background. While this is a straightforward story, with the familiar message that sometimes it takes time to discover one's raison d'être, DiPucchio brings a lighthearted, arch quality to her narration, breaking the fourth wall here and there ("Busy aren't they? And ridiculously cute, but please don't tell them that."). Overall, this picture book is bound to have children rapt until the conclusion—and soon begging for another read. VERDICT Sure to be a storytime hit, especially where Gaston is popular.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
* "In a delightful sequel to 2014’s Gaston, Gaston the bulldog’s poodle counterpart, Antoinette, wonders what she has to offer.... an action-packed romp.... Robinson’s Parisian spreads are full of retro verve, but he doesn’t overlook the city’s ordinary inhabitants—a garbage collector, a bubble blower in the park, a woman in a head scarf driving a car. DiPucchio excels in showing rather than telling, and it’s clear that beneath Antoinette’s fluffy exterior lies the heart of a hero." (Publishers Weekly, November 2016, *STARRED REVIEW*)
"Expressive and energetic, Robinson’s acrylic illustrations are full of details.... DiPucchio brings a lighthearted, arch quality to her narration... this picture book is bound to have children rapt until the conclusion—and soon begging for another read. VERDICT: Sure to be a storytime hit, especially where Gaston is popular." (School Library Journal, December 2016)
* "Fans of Gaston (2014) rejoice! Now it's Antoinette's turn to shine...fun for repeated readings." (Booklist, December 2016, *STARRED REVIEW*)
* "The beloved puppies of Gaston (2014) are back, this time with Antoinette's story of self-discovery as she reveals that every dog has a gift to share.... Once again, DiPucchio and Robinson don't miss a comedic beat, creating a playful and funny tale full of warmth that deftly explores complex themes of belonging, self-worth, and purpose. Robinson's seemingly simple artwork belies his masterful ability to imbue his characters and the places they live with an authenticity and humanity that move readers beyond the surface page.... A reassuring tale that celebrates the uniqueness of each dog (or person) and the creation of a purposeful life. Three cheers for the winning Antoinette, who "could not—would not—give up!"" (Kirkus Reviews, December 2016, *STARRED REVIEW*)
"It's a fact of family life that every child gets a reputation: Rocky is the clever one, Bruno is strong. But what about Antoinette? "Unlike her burly brothers, she still hadn't quite discovered what she was good at," Kelly DiPucchio explains of the poodle-heroine in "Antoinette"...a delightful companion to the 2014 picture book "Gaston."
Here again the pages brim with Christian Robinson's joyful, naif artwork as we return to the bustle of two Parisian families of dogs. Everyone is frisking in the park one day when a puppy named Ooh-La-La goes missing. Worried poodles hunt for her without success; anxious bulldogs seek but do not find. "In that moment, Antoinette felt a tug in her heart and a twitch in her nose. She could not—would not—give up!" In this spirited adventure for readers ages 4-8, it turns out that Antoinette's talent lies in the degree of her doggedness." (The Wall Street Journal, February 2017)
Top customer reviews
VERDICT ✅: both Antoinette and Gaston are must-buys for libraries and gifts and home and kids and adults and.....I love them that much! So do my 5yo and my students at school, who love having continuing characters in books. Sweet puppies with adorable illustrations make these such fun read alouds.