Marguerite's Christmas

Marguerite's Christmas


Written by India Desjardins
Illustrated by Pascal Blanchet
Translated from French by Carolyn Grifel

Marguerite will no longer leave her house, not even on Christmas. She prefers to stay home, rather than take the risk of falling or coming down with a cold. She settles into the solitude and isolation of her safe, interior world. But just as she's about to enjoy a peaceful dinner in front of the TV, her doorbell rings . . . This is a touching story about overcoming fear and the role of chance in life.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-178-0
8.5" (W) x 11.2" (H) • 72 pages • HC

Add To Cart


A Huffington Post Honorable Mention in "Most Heartwarming" Category for 2015

★ "Desjardins' wry text masterfully conjures details that place young readers in Marguerite's alien experience, and Blanchet's flat, retro illustrations are a perfect complement. In both aesthetic and setting they evoke the mid-20th century, when Marguerite and her husband no doubt set up housekeeping. In one particularly funny, wordless image, Marguerite stands at the door, an impossibly long cord extending all the way down the hall from the dad's unseen hand outside to the rotary phone hung on the wall. Share with older children; it will give them a new understanding of Grandma." —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"Blanchet’s screen prints are unequivocally gorgeous, while simultaneously emphasizing solitude and loneliness […] This melancholy story offers layers of visual and psychological subtlety for introspective readers” —Publishers Weekly

"This beautiful, unusual book looks tenderly but realistically at a housebound older person trying to face her impending death bravely. Many children will recognize grandparents and other relatives in Marguerite... Blanchet’s sleek, wistful art evokes the 1950s, when Marguerite’s life must have been in full bloom." —Maria Russo, The New York Times

"Melancholy and surprising, this handsome book may inspire more than a few hasty holiday calls to absent parents or grandparents." —Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"Marguerite’s Christmas is perfection, from the storytelling and illustration to the candy cane end-papers and placement of the type. It’s one of those books where everything works in exquisite balance, each element enhancing the expression of the other. Yes, it is at times an uneasy, layered read, but it is also deeply touching. I’ll not soon forget Marguerite. I feel like I’ve known her my whole life."—Donna McKinnon, 32 Pages

"Another thing to love about this book is its design and production: a cloth cover! Candy cane–striped endpapers! The thick, cream-colored pages! Happy holidays, indeed. The entire package here is a gift to readers. Blanchet’s illustrations are a throwback to illustrations of the 1940s and ’50s; his artistic style is a clear cousin to the likes of Roger Duvoisin. … In a piece she wrote for A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Martha Parravano notes that picture books work best when they are ‘on the side of the child.’ I think about that as I read this book. Our protagonist is an elderly lady, yes. Will children relate to this? I think so. She is a person that many children will recognize in their own lives, and she operates out of equal parts fear and anxiety. It’s not like these are things children have never experienced, and I think it’d be eye-opening on many levels for them to hear Marguerite’s story and think about the lives of elderly people they know.”—Julie Danielson, Kirkus Reviews

"If you are looking for that 'warm and fuzzy' read that will remind your family about the True Spirit of Christmas, particularly for older children, then look no further. This heartwarming story is about an elderly lady who never leaves her home and how an unexpected visit, that may seem inconsequential to many, on Christmas Eve leaves her feeling hopeful and meaningful. Such a thought provoking and beautifully illustrated book. It may even have you tearing up at the end, in a good way."―Clarissa, Book Nerd Mommy

An older woman lives a relatively solitary life—and prefers it that way—until something happens one Christmas Eve and she is naturally propelled towards change and to consider her habits. She finds her feet again. The illustrations, vintage and stylized, have a cinematic feel to them. A poignant, heartwarming and memorable story for the holidays.” —Michelle Sterling, Avery and Augustine

”A truly special book, poignant and darkly funny, and absolutely gorgeously produced.”Sally Morgan, The Curious Reader (Glen Rock, NJ)

“Eye-opening. Charming. Heartbreaking. Enlightening. Exquisitely, exquisitely illustrated. This is one thoroughly moving and beautifully-created picture book. One of my Best Books for 2015.” —Kids’ Book Review

It is tender and gently heart-wrenching. It is one of those books that I know interacts differently with adults and kids. While I am almost brought to tears with love and care for this lonely woman who reminds me so much of several people I have known; my daughter delights in the story too without even batting an eye. […] I would not hesitate to read this story to children and definitely recommend it to adults as well. It is long, yes. … It is a perfect, beautiful, soft climax story just right for a holiday reading.” —Three Books A Night


Mao and Me
The River
The Story of Snowflake and Inkdrop