Time length to read: 2-4 min
Age recommend: 2 and up
Author: Sonia Colasse
Illustrator: Sarah Bainton
Publisher: Solo Infinity Inc.
Price: Varies from being Free-$0.99 depending on the book (Such a great deal!)
Today I am excited to share this book with you all from a new picture book series I have been reviewing . The Adventures of Enzo: Enzo’s first Christmas, by Sonia Colasse, is about a little boy named Enzo. Even though this book is a Christmas one, the setting for Enzo starts out in Tahiti. A little boy named Enzo travels there with his family for the holidays. When they arrive to Tahiti, Enzo and his parents are greeted on the island with garlands of flowers around their neck and a nanny. The nanny is to care for Enzo while his parents go do some things. Even though his parents are busy and Enzo has to be cared for by a nanny, that doesn’t upset him. He enjoys the fun time he has with his nanny and her creature friend Mr. Capricorn. Then on Christmas morning, Enzo gets one of the best surprises he can ask for, a day with his parents, family and friends who all come to visit him and spend the day with him. It may have not been a white Christmas for Enzo, but it was filled with exactly what he needed.
This book is one word: amazing! One thing that made this book stand out to me was that not only is it written in english, but it is also written in french within the same book. I think that is a very smart and creative way to not only show children different languages, but to help them learn it. This book is printed in: English/French, and Spanish/French. If you are looking for more languages, I’d keep checking back on the author’s website, since they are currently working on printing in more languages.
Another creative twist to this book is that it has a certain zodiac sign assigned to it, and the zodiac sign usually has some sort of role in the book, usually a character. In the series The Adventures of Enzo, so far there are twelve books, each have a title and zodiac sign assigned to them. In my opinion, that is also a great way to show your children the different zodiac signs and maybe one book will stand out from the others because it would be that certain child’s zodiac sign book.
The illustrations, done by Sarah Bainton, are very colorful and bright, yet simple. The drawings are something that every child can relate to when looking at it because of the fun colors in it, and the simplicity of the drawings. Did I mention that each book has some coloring pages at the end of the book? Which is quite the plus. Author Danielle Perrotte Dobbs said “Young children will share Enzo’s feelings as he learns valuable life lessons. They will love the colorful illustrations while being exposed to several languages.”
So if you are looking for a great book that teaches children great values and tells a great story (in more than one language) I would highly recommend this book and these series. It’s a read you definitely won’t regret…trust me I’ve read them all. The Adventures of Enzo doesn’t end here, to find out about the other adventure books, scroll up to “Best Place to Purchase” part in this post, and click on the links that will direct you to them.
Curious to find out more about the author of this great series? Check out my author interview with Sonia Colasse below. Enjoy!
Author Interview with Sonia Colasse
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a mom to my four children, and author of bilingual books. I am French, but have been living in the States for the past five years. I started writing when I was nine years old. I began with poetry and that evolved into songs.
I started studies in child psychology, but I quickly lost interest in that. I dove head first into a career as an activities leader in community centers and summer camps, surrounded by children ages 4 to 12. Over the years, I gained certifications as a trainer. But I always dreamed about keeping a pen in my hand. I continued writing poetry until the lines turned into lyrics and Roger Loubet partnered with me on an album by Marina Martinez. I was a lyricist for years before arriving in the United States. Once here and my baby arrived, I shifted my attention to children’s books.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I currently spent quite a bit of time networking and spreading the word about my writing project, reaching out to the professional literature community to introduce our books and our adventures. Today, I’m doing it all on my own and learning how to do this “on the field” as we say. I’m currently recording a CD with several songs about The Adventures of Enzo and his little world. These songs will accompany the audio version of the stories that we have already recorded. On top of being a business woman, I am also a full-time mom, a spouse, and especially, a woman. I give myself a couple hours a week just to breathe and to live.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first inspiration came from my baby Enzo born from love. His birth woke up all my senses. In my last month of pregnancy, as I was gently rubbing my pretty round tummy, I began writing about Enzo’s birth. With a pen in hand, word after word, I painted the first lines of my son’s birth under the eyes of Mister Taurus. The Adventures of Enzo followed after my baby’s first smile, his first pose in front of a camera, his first tooth, and his first steps. Twelve stories we born in the first eleven months of Enzo’s birth.
How did you come up with the title?
“The Adventures of Enzo” were first called “Enzo’s Diary.” I wanted to use my son’s name because he’s a cute little star. Several people liked the title, but it didn’t feel like it was catching. After some research, my husband and I decided on “Adventures,” and liked the little nod we gave to The Adventures of Tintin.
Where do you get your ideas?
I am inspired by my own life, my experiences, my children, but especially life in general. I listen and observe what’s around me. My passions is to see a world where children from across the planet can understand each other and hold hands in solidarity. These are the children of tomorrow, and it’s up to us to give them the tools they need to excel.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
That we are all equal, even if we have different skin colors or religions. I also hope children will rediscover the simple values of life that seem easily forgotten in our modern world. That children would still say “Good morning!” when they rise, and “Good night!” when they rest. That we would say, “Thank you,” and “Please,” and “I’m sorry” without reservation.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Writings by Victor Hugo—without a doubt.
In his first collection of poetry (Odes et Poesies Diverses) published in 1822, there’s a poem written to his daughter Adele that moved me so deeply. It’s called “Lettre A Ma Fille” (translated “letter to my daughter”).
Do you have any advice for other writers?
None except to always write from the heart.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
« Souriez à la vie, car la vie vous sourit ! »
This French expression means, “Give life a smile, because life is smiling at you.”