I’m guessing that I win an award for the most tardy report on a book that we read-aloud. It looks like (from my sketchy records) that we finished this back in mid-July and I’ve had it on my desk ever since then to remind myself to blog it for Read-Aloud Thursday. Checking that off my list this week!
A Nest for Celeste captured our attention because it is … surprise … an animal story. (We love animal stories around these parts). : ) Celeste is a small mouse that lives in the floors and baseboards of Monsieur Pirrie at Oakley Plantation. Monsieur Pirrie is hosting James Audobon and his assistant, Joseph. Audobon was on a quest to draw every bird in the United States and was working his way through Louisiana in this book.
Celeste is a timid little creature, alone in the world, and at the mercy of larger rats that also inhabit the plantation house and make Celeste do their errands, like trying to steal food for them so they don’t get caught by the cat. (But they don’t really care if Celeste gets caught).
Through a series of circumstances, Celeste finds herself captured by Audobon’s young assistant Joseph. She warms up to the boy, and watches how he sketches birds that they capture. Through circumstances in the book, Celeste learns that she isn’t as timid as she thought and makes several friends along the way.
The artwork in this book is just beautiful. It reminds me of Brian Selznick's books, i.e., Hugo Cabret, with its big sweeping drawings that cover two page spreads. The characters come alive through the detailed pencil sketches. While this little mouse story hasn’t bumped our favorite mice from their top spot, we enjoyed this one.
For more great read-aloud books, visit Amy at Hope is the Word.