Elspeth Lorraine

Book Reviews

March 24, 2023

"Ferdinand Cheval: The Postman Who Delivered a Palace"

This book has all my favorite colors! Green, Blue and Purple. And Pink. It was hidden behind another book on my local library’s “New Books'' shelf and much like a toddler, I pushed the first book out of the way to look at these pretty colors. Only the best of luck led me to grabbing this book and realizing the art and the story are both très chic. Postman Cheval is going about his day on delivery when … Bump! He trips on a rock. But this is no ordinary rock. It’s a particularly magnifique rock! He puts it in his bag and continues his work. Once home this rock inspires him to begin to build. First a wall here, a path there, but Ooo la la! 33 years later he has built an entire palace. The Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval (or Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace). Cheval was of the mind that it is everyone’s place to leave a mark in life. His palace was the start of naïve architecture, a movement that means creation of something without formal training. Anne is a très talentueux writer and her verse was delightful. 

Bits and Pieces: The message of resolve, persistence and courage was easy to accept as it’s due and not forced like some books about these topics. All I found out about the illustrations were that they were created using digital techniques. Am I the only one who’s interested in the specifics? 

Not Sure About: Hmmm. Rien! This was beau! 

Favorite Part: The colors! If I could have tiptoed into this book and rolled in the lush jewel tones, I would have. If anyone wants to make me a blanket as vibrant as this, they are more than welcome. Or a sweater. Or a postal outfit!

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