“A breathtaking tribute to Notre Dame.”
Honoring the history and hope for the future of Notre Dame, Jeter presents a fictionalized creation story for Paris and its iconic cathedral featuring a little girl who plants the garden of Paris and all the flowers in it, including her “greatest flower”—Notre Dame. The story and illustrations work in tandem as they transport the reader through Paris’ history—including world war—to reach the tragic fire in 2019, with the overwhelming feeling being one of reverence for the past and an enduring hope for the future. The story itself tends towards the abstract, making it better suited for older readers, but the interweaving messages (among them to always plant Good Things, even if Bad Things can’t be kept away) and absolutely stunning illustrations featuring lovely architectural details and cameo appearances from famous historical French figures make this a unique and lovely book. The end papers at both front and back ground the book in fact and history (as does the fold-out timeline) and give curious readers even more details to explore. A breathtaking white and gold wordless spread, featuring concourses of people reminiscent of angels remembering Notre Dame, highlights slightly religious undertones (befitting a cathedral) present throughout the book.
On an island in the Seine, a little girl plants a garden–but not a garden of flowers. It will be a garden of people, she says: Paris. And in the center of that garden will stand its guardian, a grand cathedral carved from stone and roofed with light: the majestic Notre Dame de Paris. Alas, the garden will change, as people must. The girl sees kings and revolutions, empires and democracies, wars and tragedies. The are the best of times, and there are the worst. Through it all, the light of Notre Dame keeps hope bright. But when fire strikes Notre Dame itself, the little girl is grief stricken. It seems all light has gone out–until her beloved people discover what she has planted within them all along.
In the spirit of The Little Prince, The Girl and the Cathedral is a moving story about life, freedom, love, loss, and the glory of new beginnings. It is a story about Notre Dame, but much deeper, it is a story about all that Notre Dame stands for. The book includes a fold-out timeline of Notre Dame’s history with period paintings and photographs. Even better, the front cover has built-in plastic windows that shine when help up to the light! Adults and kids alike will treasure this stunning, heartwarming tribute to the cathedral of Notre Dame.
A graduate of Brigham Young University’s law school, Nicolas Jeter has lived several years in Paris and is fluent in French. <em>The Girl and the Cathedral</em> is his debut book. Nicolas lives and works in Texas, where he also enjoys reading and playing the piano. Sara Ugolotti was born in a small town in Italy. In 2012, she obtained a degree in Architecture from the University of Parma, and in 2015, she earned a degree in Illustration from the International School of Comics in Reggio Emilia. Specializing in children’s books, she has worked as a freelance illustrator for clients worldwide including Auzou Editions, IglooBooks, Il Battello a Vapore, Jilin Publishing Group Ltd, Oxford University Press, Rusconi Libri, and Usborne Publishing.