French / Canada (Québec)

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Simard, Rémy (text)
Pratt, Pierre (illus.)
Montréal: Éd. de La Pastèque, 2013. –
[56] p.
(Series: Collection Pamplemousse)
ISBN 978-2-923841-27-4

Stuffed animal | Loss | Loneliness | Imaginary world

Where is Gustave, the little mouse’s playmate who is always up for pulling pranks? It was Gustave’s quick action that helped his friend escape the cat and so perhaps saved his life. How will the little mouse tell his mother of the loss? At the end of a long day, haggard and utterly unsettled, the little mouse ventures home. His mother comforts him and hands him a new stuff ed animal. This makes it clear that Gustave was (only) a stuffed animal.

Illustrator Pierre Pratt takes the questions, fears, and also the make-believe of the (mouse)child seriously. Dark, expressionistic pictures capture the experiences of loneliness, desperation, isolation, anxiety, and hopelessness. Pratt’s illustrations imbue Rémy Simard’s text on the experience of an early loss with a special dramatic energy. (Age: 3+)