Book Review: Pistouvi by Merwan, Bertrand Gatignol

Book Review: Pistouvi by Merwan, Bertrand Gatignol

Pistouvi by Merwan, Bertrand Gatignol
Diamond Book Distributors & Magnetic Press
Pub Date 10 Nov 2020 |

Childhood should last forever…

Jeanne is a little girl who lies with a mischievous young fox named Pistouvi. They share a charming little treehouse surrounded by a magical prairie tended by a giant ‘tractor-man’ and the wind-spirit he loves. Together, Jeanne and Pistouvie spend frolicking days without a care, but soon, the birds arrive and everything changes…

A beautiful, lyrical fable about the inevitable transition from childhood freedom to adult responsibility, replete with laughs, nostalgia and heartache.

Sometimes a book gets you right in the feels. The art is breathtakingly good, and it is in service of a story and characters that immediately capture your heart.
It is a story about growing up, friendship, and, how eventually everything changes. Pistouvi is a rascal given to fits of tempers and acts of general cheekiness that are, for the most part utterly charming. Jeanne, his best friend and who I think the story is really about, is brave, kind, and, because of her curiosity is often impatient. They bring out the best in each other and I fell in love with them both.

Pistouvi is told in vignettes of almost self-contained stories. Some are eerie; others are wholesome. If I were to describe the tone and feel of the book, it would be somewhere between the melancholy weirdness of the Moomins and the eccentric fun of Adventure Time. A friend of mine once said Tove Jansen’s books taught her how to be human to other human beings. Relationships, especially the friendships we have as children are difficult things to maintain; people grow up, move away and change. Nothing lasts. Everything hurts more when you’re a kid. This book brought back a lot of emotions and memories I had growing up. I’m not saying I cried, but I’m not saying I didn’t.

This is a wonderful book. It does that Pixar thing of giving something substantial for both children and adults to enjoy. I loved this. I’ll be purchasing a copy for the little ones in my life, and I would recommend you do the same.

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