by Sonia Colasse
Sarah Bainton, illustrator
Solo Infinity (SP)
From Website: Solo Infinity presents The Adventures of Enzo by Sonia Colasse. This series of French bilingual children’s books helps children learn new languages, and teaches them important life lessons. These twelve illustrated children’s books follow a whimsical and imaginative boy named Enzo as he discovers the vast and beautiful world around him under the watchful eye of his lucky star. Enzo makes friends with each character of the zodiac through the seasons of the year. The bilingual stories are available in French-English and several other languages. Solo Infinity Publishing Company wishes to recapture life’s true values, teaching integrity to children around the world.
First Sentence: Our baby loves to be out in the fresh air.
Synopsis: Baby Enzo is on a long weekend holiday with his parents, high up in the mountains. Enzo is thrilled to be seeing the snow for the first time. His first morning, he tries to ski and, despite a lack of confidence, makes it down the mountain with ease. Enzo meets Father Ram while high up in the mountains. Father Ram in distressed because he does not have enough straw for his soon-to-be-born lamb.
Enzo has an idea. He asks the village farmer if he could work in exchange for some straw, and the farmer agrees. Very early the next morning, Baby Enzo starts his day of work. He cleans the stables, the horse stalls, and then brushes each horse’s mane. At the end of the day, he takes the straw up to Father Ram. There is now enough straw to keep the newborn lamb snug and warm. Baby Enzo has learned kindness and to give a little every day, without expecting anything in return.
Opinion: The Adventures of Enzo is translated into both French and English—French at top of page, English at the bottom—making it possibly easy to learn the words in both languages. From an email from the author, I believe the French version is the original, and the English translated from that. A Spanish version is also available, making a total of seven available language translations. The English translation is rough. For example, the second page it reads, “What a long road trip our family is taking before they get to these great mountains!” Enzo, often referred to as “our little friend,” makes it is difficult to tell if one of the parents is narrating the story or not.
Enzo’s first time skiing infuses a bit of humor into the story. The comical illustrations visualize this very well. Each page has color from edge to edge and bright illustrations. The sun and moon each have smiles below kind eyes. Baby Enzo’s age is a deliberately a mystery so that children reading / listening to the story can decide. Basically a stick figure with added features, Enzo’s smile reminds me of the happy face popular in the 1970’s. Indoors, he has one strand of hair sticking up. Outdoors he is fashioned with a large orange and red cap and green boots. His body is made of two yellow side-by-side inverted triangles. Baby Enzo is a colorful character inside and out.
The story is sweet, once I became accustomed to the translation. Enzo—named and inspired by the author’s son Enzo—gives of himself by working to get the ram family straw for warmth. He was getting nothing in return, nor was he expecting anything. This is the message of Enzo and the Little Lamb. There are twelve editions of Baby Enzo books, following the zodiac sign. Each contain a similar message.
I think The Adventures of Enzo will have a niche audience rather than mass appeal. The biggest problem is the rough English. Each sentence is grammatically correct. The problem is the flow. Maybe I am mistaken, so I leave it to you, as it should be. The Adventures of Enzo is a twelve book series for children age three to seven. Ms. Colasse is currently working a new series with a zoo theme.
The Adventures of Enzo TRAILER
The Adventures of Enzo #12: Baby Enzo and the Little Lamb / Les Aventures d’Enzo: Bébé Enzo et le bébé Agneau
Sarah Bainton, illustrator website blog facebook twitter
Released August 7, 2012
Ages: 3 to 7
Translated by Jose Valente & uriel Treharne
Spanish Editions click HERE
© 2012 by Solo Infinity, used with permission
Text: Copyright © 2012 by Sonia Colasse
Illustrations: Copyright © 2012 by Sarah Bainton
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