Charlyn 's Reviews > A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole
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's review
Jun 21, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: adventure, animals, ecology, fantasy, fiction, friendship, historical, social_studies, birds
Read on June 21, 2011 , read count: 1

In 1939, Robert Lawson set a small mouse in Benjamin Franklin's hat to narrate a historical tale. Henry Cole now sets a small mouse named Celeste in the hat of young Joseph Mason, the apprentice of John James Audubon's assistant, while the two stay on a Louisiana plantation to paint the birds and foliage. The story, however, isn't Audubon's story or even the story of Joseph, still a young teenager away from home for the first time. This is the story of Celeste, a talented young basket-weaving mouse who is searching for a place to call home, all the time aware that the household cat is waiting for her to slip up and slip into his paws. The reader will learn something about the ways in which Audubon captured the images of those beautiful birds he painted--and that's not a pretty story. And Cole has woven into the story many of the birds, some now extinct, that once lived in that part of the country.

But it is Celeste's story and the wonderful illustrations that are especially apt for a book "about art, inspiration, and the meaning of home" that the reader will enjoy. At the book's beginning, I at first believed it was going to be like Selznick's Hugo Cabret and the illustrations would tell part of the story, but they quickly became a beautiful backdrop to Cole's tale of the adventures of Celeste and those who shared her life. Altogether a precious package.
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