Written by Timothée de Fombelle
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Translated by Sam Gordon
Charming, sad, and compelling, this is the story of a five-year-old with the world on her shoulders. Wise beyond her years, she is much more capable than anyone suspects. She attends school every day while her mother works in a munitions factory. Father is off fighting in World War I and is terribly missed. Rosalie’s mother reads her all the letters from her father, as no one has time to teach Rosalie to read. When a letter in a blue envelope arrives, her father’s letters stop and no one tells Rosalie anything. She must now teach herself to read the blue letter. This is Captain Rosalie’s mission: to gather information for the war effort and to help her parents.
Amazing watercolor, pencil, and ink illustrations help to tell the story. The darkness of many pages show Rosalie’s efforts to penetrate shrouded information. The light begins as Rosalie learns the truth. The reader even gets to glimpse the letters from her father, with sketches of his view of the war.
Readers learn about the despair of war and the cost of knowledge. The wording is spare but powerful. Emotionally satisfying with a unique backdrop.
- Title: Captain Rosalie
- Author: Timothée de Fombelle
- Illustrator: Isabelle Arsenault
- Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2019
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 64 pages
- Grade Level: 3 to 7
- Genre: Independence, Literacy, War
- ISBN: 978-1-5362-0520-6