Seraphin

by

Published:

Category:

Written and illustrated by Philippe Fix

Translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith

Séraphin, dreaming of gardens full of birdsong, sunny avenues, and flowers, works as a ticket seller in a metro station underground. One day, after being scolded by the stationmaster for trying to save a butterfly that had flown into the station by accident, he learns that he has inherited an old, dilapidated house. Overjoyed by the possibilities, he and his friend Plume set about building the house of their dreams, and much more besides! Philippe Fix’s illustrations, cinematic in their scope, have entranced children since their 1967 début. Out of print in English for decades, a fresh translation of Séraphin allows a new generation to experience the wonder and inventive spectacle of the original.

Date of Publication: July 9, 2019

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-939810-25-0  

E-ISBN: 978-1-939810-26-7

A jovial narrator guides readers through this meandering story, Nicholson-Smith's conversational translation retaining Gallic eloquence. ... Readers will also fall under the spell of Fix's inexhaustible imagination, transferred onto the page as immense, richly detailed, golden-hued watercolor-and-ink illustrations.
Kirkus Reviews


A Parisian Metro ticket puncher follows a butterfly and his heart, searches for beauty, and loses his job in this beloved French classic. Thought-provoking and made relevant for a new generation, the enchanting artwork of the original is retained alongside a fresh English translation. The winding tale leads Seraphin and his friends along an imaginative path of magical realism, where dolls come to life and heads really might end up in the clouds.

Foreword Reviews


When I think about reading, I think not so much about single works, but more about various pieces of literature that complement my life and reality through fiction […] It is then when Seraphin comes to my mind – a book that my kids love, the same way I loved it when I was younger [...] Towards the end of the book, Seraphin's wonderful house is threatened by constructors, so he and his friend Plume decide to build a staircase towards the sky, by which every step they take and build they rise higher and are further from the ground. That's approximately how I felt as a reader of Seraphin, as if I too were climbing up a staircase without a start or without an end, leading me courageously throughout the unknown, full of memories and expectations, and always higher.
Peter Stamm


Philippe Fix is a creator with an overflowing, off-beat, and funny imagination. He’s also an observer, curious about everything and attentive to the most whimsical details...the images dazzle and pop out of their frames... complex and provocative.

La Revue des livres pour enfants


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