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Augustine

illustrated by Melanie Watt

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list price: $10.99
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback Hardcover
published: 2008
ISBN:9781554532681
publisher: Kids Can Press
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
3 to 7
Grade:
p to 2
Reading age:
3 to 8
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Community Reviews and Comments
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Augustine

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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Awards
  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice
  • Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Canadian Children's Book Centre
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Description

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.

Augustine's penguinized versions of van Gogh, Munch, Picasso and others are a delightful way to introduce children to art. A clever, charming story told from a penguin's eye view, Augustine illustrates that art is all around us --- and it is a language everyone understands.

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Contributor notes

Mélanie Watt is an acclaimed children's book author and illustrator. Her books include the Scaredy Squirrel, Chester and Learning With Animals series, Augustine, Leon the Chameleon and Have I Got a Book for You! She lives near Montreal.

Mélanie Watt is an acclaimed children's book author and illustrator. Her books include the Scaredy Squirrel, Chester and Learning With Animals series, Augustine, Leon the Chameleon and Have I Got a Book for You! She lives near Montreal.

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Editorial Reviews

Beautifully designed, Augustine, is an absolutely wonderful picture book ... this classic story of a family's move becomes original and witty ... Best of all, this picture book's depth will foster many conversations and inspire that most meaningful, dynamic relationship between book, adult and child.—Canadian Children's Book News


While the Technicolor-bright drawings and the lessons of the importance of self-expression will tickle the kiddies, adults can dig the many cold-related puns littered throughout the book and Augustine's take on the classics ... Before parents know it, their kids will be hankering for the real thing.—Quill and Quire


Watt's pencil crayon and acrylic illustrations will likely win over young audiences, while her clever art references may well engage older readers.—Publishers Weekly

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