Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
From Hans Christian Andersen award-winning author Philippe Fix, a dazzling portrait of a dreamy optimist filling Paris with ingenious gadgets, toys, and magical contraptions.
Seraphin, dreaming of gardens full of birdsongs, sunny avenues, and flowers, works as a ticket seller in a metro station underground. One day, after being scolded by the stationmaster for trying to save a butterfly that had flown into the station by accident, he learns that he has inherited an old, dilapidated house. Overjoyed by the possibilities, he and his friend Plume set about building the house of their dreams, and much more besides! Philippe Fix's illustrations, cinematic in their scope, have enchanted children since their 1967 début. In a fresh translation, Seraphin now allows a new generation to experience the wonder and inventive spectacle of the original.
About the Author
Philippe Fix is a French illustrator and author of children's books. He studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He is best-known for creating the character Chouchou, who first appeared in a comic strip in 1963, in the magazine Salut!. Seraphin received the Prix du meilleur livre loisirs jeunes and honorable mentions for the Premio Critici in Erba for the 1970 Bologna Children's Book Fair, and for the Premio Grafico for the 1972 Bologna Children's Book Fair. His children's books have been translated into over a dozen languages.
About the translator: Donald Nicholson-Smith is a translator and freelance editor. His translation of poems by Abdellatif Laâbi, In Praise of Defeat (Archipelago), was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2017, and his translation of Jean-Patrick Manchette's The Mad and the Bad received the 2015 French-American Foundation Translation Prize. Nicholson-Smith has also translated works by Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Henri Lefebvre, Antonin Artaud, and Guillaume Apollinaire, among others.
"There’s so much text in Philippe Fix’s odd, captivating picture book that children listening to an adult read it aloud will have plenty of time to pore over the artwork. First published in 1967, Seraphin—back in English in a new translation from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith—introduces readers ages 5-10 to a childlike dreamer employed as a ticket puncher in the Paris Metro." — Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
"Rendered gracefully in a new translation by Nicholson-Smith, Fix’s winning narrative voice is matched in charm by his wonderfully intricate, warmly lit illustrations...This vision of an existence unbeholden to anyone else offers a satisfying escape from the everyday." —Publishers Weekly
"A jovial narrator guides readers through this meandering story, Nicholson-Smith's conversational translation retaining Gallic eloquence. ... Readers will also fall under the spell of Fix's inexhaustible imagination, transferred onto the page as immense, richly detailed, golden-hued watercolor-and-ink — Kirkus Reviews
"A Parisian Metro ticket puncher follows a butterfly and his heart, searches for beauty, and loses his job in this beloved French classic. Thought-provoking and made relevant for a new generation, the enchanting artwork of the original is retained alongside a fresh English translation. The winding tale leads Seraphin and his friends along an imaginative path of magical realism, where dolls come to life and heads really might end up in the clouds." — Pallas Gates McCorquodale, Foreword Reviews
"Full of unexpected twists and turns, this beautiful idealistic story left me feeling hopeful and starry-eyed. I loved Seraphin's stubborn optimism and determination, despite so many obstacles. I loved Seraphin's sweet friendship with Plume. I loved the gorgeous, whimsical illustrations!!" — Délice Herum, The HSP Bookshelf
"This is a picture book that will help you explain to your child that being yourself is the best thing you can do and being creative will always, always find a path towards helping you achieve something great." — DoodleMom
"Philippe Fix is a creator with an overflowing, off-beat, and funny imagination. He's also an observer, curious about everything and attentive to the most whimsical details ... the images dazzle and pop out of their frames ... complex and provocative." --La Revue des livres pour enfants