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The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris

Written by Nicolas Jeter & illustrated by Sara Ugolotti
Published by Bushel & Peck Books
5.42 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.3 / 5.0
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Prices as of Jan 19
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used $17.99
Apr 15, 2020
Publication Date
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What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“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.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

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.

What Kind of Book is The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris


Quotes from This Book

  • “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
  • “And there was the little girl, standing happily with her hands on her waist and dirt on her knees.”
  • “With this seed, one could plant anything she wanted. One could plant a mountain. A forest. A giant. One could even plant an ocean…This seed is for my people. And since I am a gardener, I will plabnnt for them a flower.”

Where Does This Book Stand Out

See the World

The “See the World” badge is awarded to recognize books that exceptionally highlight travel and geography.


The “Illustration” badge is awarded to books with exceptional illustrations.

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
5.75 / 7.0
B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
5.0 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
5.5 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris

Book Topics › France
Children's Books About France
Book Topics › culture
Children's Books About Culture
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
Book Topics › Europe
Children's Books About Europe
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Who Wrote The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris

Nicolas Jeter

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.

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Who Illustrated The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris

What Has Sara Ugolotti Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Sara know that you want more details about The Girl and the Cathedral: The Story of Notre Dame de Paris! Try messaging Sara on instagram (@sara_ugolotti_illustrator).

What Has Nicolas Jeter Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date:
April 15, 2020
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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