Cecile is the littlest of The Sisters Saint-Claire, and has a passion for baking. Usually she stays home to prepare perfect pies while her sisters head out to the markets, returning with baskets overflowing with cheeses, berries, bread and more. Cecile is big enough to finally join in, so the family all set out together.
Although she is overwhelmed by all the sights and smells of the markets, Cecile sets up her own stall, and she tries her best to make a sale: ‘though I am little, my heart is immense. Each pie is delicious, the flavour intense!’ Cecile is disheartened when no-one is buying, but a special surprise visitor to the markets may be just who she needs…
The story is told entirely in rhyme, and with its French setting, feels almost like the world of Madeline! It also tells a simple but strong message: all little ones, including mice, should dream big.
The illustrations in this book are just lovely. Each mouse sister is drawn to be distinct, with her own personality. The stalls at the markets are busting with colours, and eagle-eyed little ones will enjoy peering closely at the pages to check out all the wares.
And the food! The detail on the little tartlets, berries and treats are exquisite, and if all the talk of pies and baked goods is making you hungry – there’s a recipe for Croque Monsieur (a Sisters Saint-Claire favourite) at the back!
It’s written by Carlie Gibson with illustrations by Tamsin Ainslie, and both are used to having houses full of girls. Carlie Gibson is the eldest of five sisters, so The Sisters Saint-Claire was inspired by her experience of her own family, and Tamsin lives in Murwillumbah with her two daughters and has been drawing since childhood.
We hope to see more from this Australian duo!
With its sweet rhyming story and beautiful pastel illustrations, reading about these mouse-meselles in The Sisters Saint-Claire is quite a treat. We think young fans of Ruby Red Shoes will find this book fun, inspiring, and simply delectable.