“Monsieur Lambert” by Jean-Jacques Sempé

Date finished: 27th December 2011

For the last four years, one of the Christmas presents I’ve received has been a book by the French illustrator Jean-Jaccques Sempé whether one of the Nicholas books written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Sempé or one of his own illustrated novels, and reading them has been a Christmas highlight. This year was no exception, and I received Monsieur Lambert, an illustrated novel about the regular lunchtime male customers of a bistro.

It’s only 58 pages long, and focuses on the minutiae of daily routine, while demonstrating the importance of the friendships of the group when one of their number veers from their normal schedule. Simple but charming line drawings illustrate the book, and as with all his stories, it shows the everyday life of the ordinary Frenchman with warmth and nostalgia.

Simply lovely.

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