Captain Rosalie

Written by Timothee de Fombelle
Review by Meg Wiviott

Five-year-old Rosalie lives in a French village with her mother, who has had to work in a nearby factory since her father went off to war. She spends the day on a bench under the coats in the back of a classroom plotting her secret mission in her notebook. At night, her mother reads the letters her father has sent from the front; expressing his love and yearning for the end of the war. As Rosalie’s mission draws to a close, she must face the truth and horrors of war.

Captain Rosalie is an exquisitely written story of the tragedies of war. The illustrations, mostly in shades of gray and black with pops of orange (the color of Rosalie’s hair), are poignant, adding depth to the text, which is longer than most picture books. This is an excellent selection for students through middle school, given the topic and length of text.