Decided on a quick read this morning, just to see the New Year in with some fun, so I read one of my Christmas presents, Raoul Taburin Keeps A Secret by Jean-Jacques Sempé. It’s a lovely illustrated hardback book, and although it is suitable for children, I think adults probably get a bit more out of it, as it’s a wistful tale of a bicycle repair man who keeps a secret from everyone he know, and the consequences it has on his life.
I first came across Sempé as the illustator of the Nicholas short story books by René Goscinny. I’ve been given the Nicholas books in previous years for Christmas, and along with the latest one, I got this Sempé book as well this year. It’s a quite old fashioned, nostalgic style of illustration, and the books have a 1950s feel about them, and I suspect this makes them appeal to the older reader just as much as the children they’ve been written for.
The story itself is utterly charming, amusing and affectionate, and has that classic small French town feel with an almost timeless quality about it. I completely loved it.