A dear friend gave me a vintage copy of Rosalie: The Bird Market Turtle by Winifred and Cecil Lubell as a graduation present. The copy is old and used, which I love! It still has that very distinct book scent that seems to accompany older books.
I loved the book as soon as I opened it. The old style of illustrations, the fact that it’s set in Paris, the sweet little turtle. It drew me in!
Mister Bonaparte sells birds in the Bird Market in the center of Paris. Every Sunday morning, he brings along with him Rosalie the turtle and Gaston the talking bird. Gaston brings the children to Mister Bonaparte’s table by calling out “Ro-sa-lie! Ro-sa-lie! Here’s Ro-sa-lie!”
One Sunday, Mister Bonaparte and Gaston have their fill of strawberries and fall asleep for an afternoon nap. Two little girls approach the stand and realize Rosalie is missing. Word spreads quickly and the entire market joins in the search for the beloved turtle.
Gaston flies all around Paris to find Rosalie, asking various passersby if anyone had seen the famous turtle. With each stop Gaston makes, the people recognize the bird and are sorry to hear the turtle is gone.
Finally, Gaston spots Rosalie in an unlikely place and swoops down to reveal her. Everyone is so happy to see Rosalie they dance and celebrate.
This book is a treasure. It is beautifully illustrated and a fun story. The relationship between the Gaston and Rosalie is adorable, and I love the little misadventure that turns out to be just as innocent and sweet as Rosalie. If you are (or a friend of yours is) a lover of vintage books and can get your hands on a copy of this book, I recommend it. It makes a great gift!