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Phileas's Fortune: A Story about Self-Expression
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Phileas's Fortune: A Story about Self-Expression

4.57  ·  Rating Details ·  416 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
How can Phileas express himself to Cybele when he doesn't have the right words say? How can he tell her how he feels when he doesn't have enough money to buy the words?

Phileas's Fortune reveals the power of language and self-expression. Words are important, but what is more significant is the sincerity and character behind what is actually being said. True self-expression
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Magination Press (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Feb 03, 2017 Jale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sessiz bir ülkede geçmekte olan öykümüzde sözcükleri fabrikadan satın almanız, çöplükte bulmanız ya da rüzgarda savrulurken yakalamanız gerekiyor. Ve "seni seviyorum" yerine "kiraz! toz! sandalye!" sözcükleri ile mutlu olmak isterseniz sizi de Büyük Sözcük Fabrikası'na bekleriz... Enfes.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Powerful, touching, warm-hearted story!

Phileas lives in a world where words are made at a factory. Only the rich can afford the valuable, creative, descriptive words. Phileas is not rich, people like him must hunt for words in trash cans, gutters, and if they are lucky, floating in the wind. Phileas has a special friend, Cybele. Her birthday is coming up, so Phileas saves up for three words to share with her. If he was rich, he would buy the words: I love you and happy birthday...but he is not,
Apr 26, 2017 Ludmilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoriler
yeğenime vermeden okudum, tek kelimeyle: şahane!
J.V. Seem
Mar 20, 2012 J.V. Seem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
God, this was a gorgeous book! The title, here in Norwegian, means "The Word Factory", and tells the short, but incredibly satisfying story of a young boy in a country where words have to be bought to be said. The rich have many, big, important words, but this little boy only has a few, stray words, which he's been able to catch with his butterfly net. He so wants to tell the little girl in his building "I love you", but only has the words "dust", "chair" and "cherry". What's really moving about ...more
Mar 15, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Thw whole time I'm reading this book, I'm thinking that it is a great concept and sweetly done, but something is just off. Yeah, the subtitle is insipid. Okay, the illustrations are about words, and the words are largely in French, but that's just a quirk of translation. Then the end... wow what a horrid little lecture from the American Psychological Association. Now I get it. Thanks to other reviewers on Goodreads I learn a little history of the book and how the American edition is skewed by th ...more
Dec 10, 2013 Marinela rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2016 Hélène rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tout le monde
Shelves: jeunesse
Cerise poussière chaise!
Jul 24, 2017 Beate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: age 4-99 and that are a bit contemplative
I loved this book. I loved the illustrations, and the concept of a city where you have to buy all your words to use them. The rich can buy many and expensive words, while the poor look in dumpsters or catch theirs with butterfly nets.

This is a story about love, expression, class and money (at the very least). And it is beautifully done.
Denne boken er fantastisk. Illustrasjonene er nydelige, og verdenen med en by der du må kjøpe alle ordene du skal si er spenne
Tine Nelissen
May 09, 2017 Tine Nelissen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kinderboeken
Prachtig! Ik vind dit boek zelf ontzettend mooi, en ook mijn dochter (4) geniet er echt van. Een van de mooiste kinderboeken die we in huis hebben. Ik heb het destijds eerlijk gezegd een beetje voor mezelf gekocht: mijn dochter was toen 3 en ik dacht dat ze er te jong voor zou zijn, maar ze heeft er van in het begin even veel plezier aan als ik. Een echte aanrader!
Jun 07, 2017 Malia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heel knap! Ik kan niet wachten om dit voor te lezen in de bib.
Oct 05, 2011 Kt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was originally written in French (the version of which I have not read). The first version I read was in Chinese and is titled "The Word Factory" (the Chinese version is not an option on GoodReads). The pictures are beautiful with contrasting colors like dark browns and greys (the colors of most printed words) with bright reds that portray all the subtleties, ominousness and brightness that a world economy based on the cost of words would create. In the meantime, the narrative focuses ...more
Dit was echt een super prachtig en magisch boek.

Het land zelf, ik vond het best wel onderdrukkend, alsof het een oorlogsland betrof, maar nee, hier heerst een woordenfabriek, een fabriek die woorden uitspuugd, en ook de enige is die dat mag doen.

Als je wilt praten kun je woorden kopen, of je kunt ze vangen of goedkoop vinden, maar dat zijn over het algemeen toch niet echt goede worden. Appelsapmakerij of dromedariszadel, daar kan je toch niks mee?

Onze hoofdpersoon heeft een oogje op een meisje.
Jul 03, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Phileas’s Fortune: A Story About Self-Expression by Agnes de Lestrade and illustrated by Valeria Docampo addresses the importance of self-expression over showing off or bullying. Where Phileas lives there is an old factory that spits out words. People must buy, catch, or hunt for the words then swallow those words they wish to speak. Some words are expensive and Phileas is poor, but he catches three words and saves them to say to a girl, Cybele. A bully, Oscar, is able to afford very expensive w ...more
Apr 08, 2014 Desirée rated it it was amazing
Wow! Not only is the story beautiful, about the worth of speech and about the fact that having much is not always better than having little.

But the most beautiful thing in this book are the illustrations. To me, the only other artist who is that good and works in children's books today is Saun Tan - and that's saying something, he is awesome! Actually, the comparison to Tan works on more levels than 'just' quality, it's actually a similar approach: Valeria Docampo uses the same kind of clear li
Apr 13, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phileas lives in a town where a factory produces all of the words. You cannot speak a word until you have bought it (or found it) and have eaten it. Of course all of the fancy and important words are very expensive. How will he ever get the right words to say to the girl he loves?

In the first pages I had flashes of Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. This was a very sweet story with slightly dark images for a kids' book. The only objection I have is the subtitle and the "parents' note" at the
Yağmur Karadaş
Kitabın başlığına ve cıvıltılı kırpırtılı çizimlerine sadık kalarak! (puanı buradan veriyoruz) kendi hikayemizi yazdık kızımla fakat duygular "daha kötü uydurulamazdı!"Bir de şurdan bakınız dilerseniz:
The Styling Librarian
Apr 26, 2015 The Styling Librarian rated it really liked it
Phileas’s Fortune – a story about self-expression by Agnes de Lestrade, Valeria Docampo – Picture book – Interesting book that can be carefully interpreted and shared with children for discussion on appreciation of what you have even if it isn’t wealth… I personally loved the idea of a community that cannot speak a word that hasn’t been eaten… and then the words that are quality actually cost too much for the average person. What a quiet community it might be! I’ll be thinking about this book fo ...more
Oct 06, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elementary-age
Love this book. The illustrations were gorgeous and the story has such a great message without being all preachy. A big machine makes words that people then have to buy from shops (grr consumerism and capitalism) but it's the way Phileas uses the few words he's got that gets so much more meaning across. It's a very cute story full of nudges for thinking outside the box and that more can be less- both ideas that are very much against the societal push for what's popular and going big or going hom ...more
Apr 08, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
This is the best of the magination press books we've got lately, and it would be even better if it hadn't had the stupid afterword and the subtitle "a story about self expression." Because it has beautiful illustrations, and actually tells a really sweet story, but then you get to the end and they tell you what you should have learned from this story. Just so you know you couldn't learn a variety of things, because this is just about one thing. Which I thought was ridiculous, because the book wi ...more
Susan Hoeck-buehler
Original Title La grande fabrique de mots.

I loved the concept of this book and envision using this as a discussion point with children in our international school. The children are multi-lingual and often arrive without any experience in the language of instruction. I see possible connections for discussions on friendship, love, awareness of body language and how we communicate with each other as well as on the difficulty of not having the words you need to express yourself. I haven't yet checke
Oct 28, 2016 Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Existe un país donde la gente casi no habla, donde hay que comprar las palabras para poder pronunciarlas..." Así comienza esta historia: ilustrada, cortita y puede que catalogada como infantil, pero con una fuerza sorprendente y capaz de llegar al corazón. No dejen de darle una oportunidad, vale muchísimo la pena <3
Sharon Grimaldi
May 30, 2016 Sharon Grimaldi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was inmediately hooked with the story, due to the fact that it was a touching experience of being surrounded in a material world where is very difficult to reveal your true feelings without money. However, the heart always finds a way to reveal itself when love is real. I have to say that this story has a personal meaning to me...
Mar 09, 2012 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Phileas can't afford the words he wants to speak to his neighbour for her birthday. But he's found some beautiful words that he's been saving for her, and when he finally gets to share them... The combination of anticipation, intimacy, colour and the words created a rushing feeling in my ears and a warm feeling in my fingers.
Marguarite Markley
Dec 13, 2010 Marguarite Markley rated it it was amazing
OMG! How freakin' beautiful is this book?!?! In addition to being written wonderfully, the illustrations are fab! I LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! In a world where you can only speak the words you buy, you must choose carefully what you say and when you say it. What words would you buy and speak? *Sigh*
Dirk Vander Beken
Apr 14, 2013 Dirk Vander Beken rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I worked with this wonderful book in my drama classes for primary school teachers in Antwerp and last week in Valencia. There is a Dutch kamishibai-edition by De Eenhoorn. I found a French film La fortune de Phileas with adolescent actors and a Spanish version for hearing-impaired persons. Inspiring book!
Jan 31, 2012 Brittney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edut-l-books
I thought the book was good because I liked the message portrayed that you don't need nice and expensive things to express yourself. I also thought the idea of having to buy words was interesting and original. The illustrations were also beautiful. The neutral tones and bursts of read really convey the mood of the story.
Simon Cian
This is a very sweet story with very clear moral lessons. while I would say it is worth a read I also feel that it's sweetness and morality are so overt that they ruin the experience slightly. It is almost as if the story is less important that the moral lesson...
Sweet story about two children who find a connection in a society where words must be bought or found before spoken. Wish there wasn't a heavy-handed message at the end telling you what to learn from the book, though.
Jan 02, 2012 Nadine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Such a great book for young ones and not so young ones.The images and colors are simply breath taking. Fell in love with it when one of my teachers at university read it at the beginning of his class. :)
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