Celia

(2014)
Celia

 

This picture book gem was first published in Belgium under the title Zélie in 2012.  The first several pages are strictly black and white, and show an elderly woman sitting on a stool with a line of people waiting to speak to her.  Celia listens to problems, worries, sorrows, anything people need to say every Sunday.  Telling Celia about their problems made them feel happier, and in exchange for Celia's service, they would give her a seed--the first sign of color in the book.  One Sunday we are introduced to a little boy named Julian who is patiently waiting in line, but when he discovers he has lost his seed, he sadly leaves the line.  On Monday, Celia takes all of the seeds from Sunday, puts them in a wheelbarrow, and journeys into the city.  The seeds are transformed into balloons, cupcake frosting, even apples.  Celia is providing the city with color.  When she finds Julian's lost seed, she is concerned, as she knows "this seed belongs to an unhappy child."  She meets Julian along the road, and Julian is happy to see his seed again.  They plant his seed and Julian waits to see it grow into a tiny colorful flower.  This book's little sprinkles of color made me feel happy and I liked the idea of turning worry into happiness.

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