Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

Celeste is a small mouse living under the floorboards of a Southern plantation. While making her way through the house, Celeste is both captured and saved by one of the plantation's new houseguests, Joseph. Joseph is the teenage apprentice to wildlife artist, John James Audubon. Within the safety of his room, Joseph confides to Celeste about Audubon's maltreatment of animals and his perfectionism. But with Celeste nestled in his shirt pocket, Joseph gains the confidence he needs to aid in Audubon's revolutionary work.

A Nest for Celeste is a serious and thought-provoking piece of literature. Readers are introduced to the hardworking, courageous protagonist, Celeste. Celeste's life is constantly in danger, which paints an authentic picture of a mouse's life. From her perilous perspective, readers meet the real John James Audubon. Even though the story is fictional, the details of Joseph and Audubon's life are based on true events. Cole's breath-taking, graphite illustrations bring added suspense and clarity to the novel. Fans of such books as The Tale of Despereaux or Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH would enjoy Cole's first chapter book.

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