Spring 2023 has been a very special one. My oldest graduated from college, my youngest started college, I am (finally) back doing in-person events and school visits and… I have two new picture books out in stores!
No Horses in the House: The Audacious Life of Artist Rosa Bonheur (Orca Book) is a narrative non-fiction biography. This picture book for readers 6 and up explores the life and works of Rosa Bonheur, a fascinating pant-wearing, animal-loving, rule-and-gender-defying French painter from the 19th-century. Thanks to the gorgeous illustrations by Anna Bron and an end of book historical timeline and information this new release is the perfect read for kids (and their grown-ups) who love animals, art, true stories and strong female characters.
This book is also available in French!
My second new release is The Magic Cap (Milky Way Picture Books). It’s a whimsical tale of friendship, perseverance, forest creatures and, of couse, magical gnomes! I have worked in the past with the fantastic team at Milky Way Picture Books as a translator and it is with great joy that I now join their ranks as an author. Readers 3 and up will delight in Charlotte Parent’s jewel-toned illustrations and will take joy in finding the tiny red caps hidden in the forest. The large format of this book also make it ideal for shared reading as well as presenting to groups.
This book is also available in French!
Spring has sprung. Let’s get reading!
Many moons ago, in a tiny, thatched cottage at the edge of the woods,lived two children named Isaura and Arlo with their hedgehog, Crispin. When their beloved pet becomes ill, Isaura suggests that they seek the magical healing
power of gnomes. Convinced this will heal it, the children set off into the woods with humble offerings, hoping to attract the gnomes. The trick does not seem to work, however, and gnomes are nowhere to be seen despite the children’s good intentions.
The Magic Cap
Milky Way Picture Books, May 2023
Story Mireille Messier
Illustrations Charlotte Parent
ISBN : 9781990252211
$23.99 (CAD) / $18.99 (USD)
||fairytale, magic, friendship, siblings, gnomes, forest, animals
|Pre-order this book by clicking here!
Or by visiting your local, indie children’s bookstore 🙂
Italian version available soon!
My “printemps” is filling up fast! If you are in the Ottawa or Toronto regions please join me at these upcoming events where I will be promoting my French books.
Éditions de l’Isatis booth on Thursday 23rd at 6pm and Saturday 25th at 10am.
Dimédia booth on Saturday the 25th at 2pm
Saturday March 4th
Association des auteurs de l’Ontario (AAOF) booth at 10am
Panel discussion about the importance of translation on the Main stage at 1pm
Isatis booth at 2pm.
Based on the incredible life of the pioneering, feminist and queer artist Rosa Bonheur, this charming story depicts Rosa’s early years and her drive to fight for her dreams.
Rosa Bonheur loved to draw animals. She was good at it too! Unfortunately, in nineteenth-century France, girls were not allowed to be artists. But Rosa didn’t let that stop her. In this fictionalized account of her early life in Paris, Rosa studies art at home, bringing a menagerie of animals into the apartment to study up close. When she is kicked out of the horse market for sneaking in wearing boys clothing, Rosa must think creatively to challenge the rules in pursuit of her dream of becoming a world-class realist painter and artist.
No Horses in the House!: The Audacious Life of Artist Rosa Bonheur
Orca Book Publisher, March 2023
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Anna Bron
||artist biography, gender roles, girls can do anything, animal painting, horses, Art History, France, 19th century, perseverence
|You can order this book by clicking here!
Or by visiting your favourite indie bookstore! 🙂
Teachers, librarians, book peeps of Ontario, lend me your ears! If you are at the OLA Super Conference this week don’t miss this chance to come by the Orca Book Publishers’ booth and get your hands on a copy of my upcoming picture book No Horses in the House! BEFORE THEY ARE EVEN IN STORES!
Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart is based on the true story of how Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the world’s most remarkable musicians, was inspired by one of the world’s most unremarkable birds: a starling.
In this charming picture book, author Mireille Messier tells the story of a very special relationship and how it began: with a chance musical encounter. And Matte Stephens’s playful art captures both the grandeur of 18th century Vienna and the budding unlikely friendship between a famous musician and a humble starling.
Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart
Tundra, October 2022
Story by Mireille Messier
Illustrations by Matte Stephens
||Classical music, bird, pet, friendship, inspiration, History, true story, biography
|You can order this book by clicking here! Or by visiting your favourite indie bookstore 🙂
“In 18th-century Vienna, a starling explores and replicates the noises she hears all around her. She mimics sounds from the streets, animal calls, and even human speech. For a time, she perches in a tree outside the window of a musician and his family. When the starling is captured and taken to a pet shop, she becomes despondent and loses her song. But soon she is bought and taken home by the very musician whose window she used to frequent—none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The narrative draws inspiration from the true story of Mozart’s purchase of a pet starling and his transcription of the bird’s song, eerily similar to one of his unpublished compositions. Where music historians differ on their explanations of this mystery, Messier posits a charming prior connection between man and bird. She characterizes the bird with winning details, including its repeated use of the German-accented onomatopoeia “Piep!” Stephens provides cheerful poster-colored paintings in a naive style, solid shapes, and loosely drawn lines suggesting facial expressions and environmental details. He injects subtle humor into the nooks and crannies of the story, particularly the face of the dyspeptic bird catcher and the starling’s casual soiling of the piano in front of Mozart’s dismayed student. VERDICT This is an endearing piece of historical fiction, and perhaps an early entry point into Mozart’s oeuvre.”
School Library Journal
“Launching from legends about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s musically precocious starling, Messier imagines an origin story for the pet, a fresh entry point into the life of an icon of Western classical music. Exploring Vienna, a starling chick imitates springtime sounds before perching outside Mozart’s window, his music “more beautiful than anything she had ever heard.” When a bird-catcher cages her, her chirping of a memorable tune finds the ear of its composer and (…) inspires a lengthy creative collaboration. Messier’s Vienna burbles with German-language sounds, including a cat’s “miau” and a townsperson’s “Guten morgen,” providing opportunities for readers to imitate along with the starling. Stephens renders high-contrast illustrations using unlined shapes to create simple, blocky figures portrayed with fanciful skin tones in whimsically off-kilter cityscapes. An author’s note concludes.”
Tom loves everything!
Even the things that most kids do NOT love, like tofu and turtlenecks and dandelions and rainy days. These short, fun, rhyming poems are Tom’s perfect ode to the everyday unloved.
« Bonjour! Je suis Tom-Aime-Tout!
Car oui, en effet j’aime tout, tout TOUT!
Voici des poèmes que j’ai inventés
Pour célébrer certains mal-aimés!»
Éditions Tête Haute, August 2022
Text Mireille Messier
Illustrations Alice Lemelin
||Poetry, poem, ode, everyday, love, humour
|Order this book by clicking here!
Or by visiting your favourite indie bookstore.
Look what just arrived! It’s my new picture book, Tom-Aime-Tout (Tom-Loves-All)!
Tom-Aime-Tout is the 6th book in a new series called Petite Poésie, published by Éditions Tête Haute. This collection is aimed at readers 4 & up and are fun stories told in poem format. In my book, young Tom decides to write odes (short, rhyming love poems) to things and animals that HE loves but that are unloved by most other kids. Like tofu, dandelions, turtle necks and the dreaded naps!
Tom-Aime-Tout is also my first book with the very talented Alice Lemelin whose clever illustrations add even more humour to the poems.
I look forward to presenting Tom-Aime-Tout in classrooms this Fall and having fun with immersion students exploring funny odes to the unloved!