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illustrated by Mélanie Watt

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list price: $11.99
also available: Paperback Hardcover
published: 2006
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
3 to 7
p to 2
Reading age:
3 to 8
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review


From packing her bags, to the airplane ride, to a new home with its “icicle chandelier and hard ice floor”, Augustine bravely faces her family’s big move from the South Pole to the North Pole. But trying to make friends at her new school is another matter, especially since her penguin accent is so different from the other animals’. Luckily for Augustine, her artistic talent attracts her schoolmates who help her overcome her shyness. With an upcoming art show and new friends, Augustine’s life in the North Pole doesn’t look too chilly.

Beautifully designed, Mélanie Watt’s Augustine is an absolutely wonderful picture book. By adopting a penguin’s point of view, this classic story of a family’s move becomes original and witty. Watt uses cold-weather colloquialisms to add intelligent humour with phrases like, “In my bedroom, I gather all my toys. My mom says it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

The illustrations, done in acrylic and pencil crayon, sparkle with the same clever humor. Each of Augustine’s drawings are “penguinized” parodic references to famous masterpieces of over 14 artists, including Mondrian, Renoir, van Gogh, Magritte, da Vinci and Warhol.

Augustine is sure to delight parents who are familiar with these well-known artworks and children will relish its simple story, endearing character and bright pages. Best of all, this picture book’s depth will foster many conversations and inspire that most meaningful, dynamic relationship between book, adult and child.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2006. Vol.29 No. 4.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

H Augustine

Moving isn’t easy for Augustine. But in time the shy, artistic young penguin discovers what art (and making friends) is all about. A clever, charming story told from a penguin’s-eye-view.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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See below for English description.

Augustine est un manchot possédant un grand sens artistique, dont les parents décident de déménager du pôle Sud au pôle Nord. Elle est très nerveuse à l'idée de rencontrer ses nouveaux camarades de classe et ne se doute pas que son talent pour le dessin va l'aider à briser la glace. Des illustrations évoquant des peintres célèbres abondent tout au long du livre.


Moving all the way from the South Pole to the North Pole isn't easy for the young penguin Augustine. Uprooted from her home, she misses her friends, her grandma and grandpa and her old bedroom. There are all kinds of unfamiliar faces at the North Pole, and everything looks strange and different. When it's time to go to her new school, Augustine gets cold feet. But with the help of a few colored pencils and some inspiration from Picasso, this shy, artistic young penguin discovers a way to break the ice with her classmates and feel at home on the other end of the world.

Original Title :Augustine


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About the Author

Mélanie Watt

L’auteure-illustratrice MÉLANIE WATT, née à Trois-Rivières, a remporté pour son travail de prestigieuses récompenses, dont le prix Ruth et Sylvia Schwartz, le prix Blue Spruce et le Prix Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon, tous les trois pour Frisson l’écureuil.

The author-illustator MÉLANIE WATT, born in Trois-Rivières, has won prestigious awards for her work, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, the Blue Spruce Award, and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, all for her series Frisson l'écureuil.

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