Monsieur Pierre Poulpe is a small orange octopus who lives in a fountain in Paris, France. He sees lots of tourists pass by, but no one who wants to stop and become his friend. One day, Pierre takes matters into his own tentacles and leaves his fountain to look for friends. His adventures take him on a wonderful tour of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and Montmartre. He sees some amazing sights but finds no friends. Finally, he meets some children who are souvenir shopping. The best souvenir of all is a friend, so they decide to bring Pierre home to California with them. He enjoys touring his new home with his brand new friends.
This is a cute friendship story with the extra bonus of providing a light introduction to the sights of Paris for children ages three to six. The actual writing of the story is well done. The author is a member of SCBWI, and it shows. There are no obvious mistakes or problems with flow in this story.
While the illustrations are whimsical and cute overall, they have an amateurish feel to them. However, there is an excellent spread near the end of the book that incorporates real photographs of California with an overlay of Pierre and his new friends. That spread was a fun surprise, and it would have been nice to see more like that in the Paris section of the book. It would also have been a good opportunity to include back matter with a few fun facts about each of the landmarks visited in the book both in Paris and California.
Altogether, Monsieur Pierre is an enjoyable story that should appeal to children and to those reading with them. It offers children a jumping-off point to talk about visiting different places in the world as well as making friends.
L O Annie Press