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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Ernest & Celestine Merry Christmas
by Gabrielle Vincent
Age Range: Under_5
Celestine is desperate to have a Christmas party for all her friends but Ernest says no because they can’t afford it. Celestine refuses to give in and continues to pester Ernest in every way she can think of until he finally agrees.
The ‘Ernest & Celestine’ series are charming classic tales of friendship between a bear and a mouse which were first created in the 1980s by Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent. The sublime and timeless watercolour and ink illustrations are so full of expression, particularly of Celestine. As Celestine and Ernest walk home through a snow-covered wood Celestine’s body language exudes disappointment when he tells her they cannot have a party, or the small vignettes that capture the many different expressions of both characters as they debate the issue. Such delicate, intricate detail is what makes these two characters so endearing.
Other titles in the series are Ernest & Celestine and Ernest and Celestine The Picnic are also available from Catnip with a new translation in English by Sam Alexander.