Summary: Main character is Armand, a homeless hobo who usually winters under a bridge; over the Seine River, in Paris. Arriving at his chosen spot one December with his baby carriage of belongings, he finds the three calcet children who are hiding lest the authorities take the children from their mother. Madame Calcet, recently homeless, works in ...Read MoreSummary: Main character is Armand, a homeless hobo who usually winters under a bridge; over the Seine River, in Paris. Arriving at his chosen spot one December with his baby carriage of belongings, he finds the three calcet children who are hiding lest the authorities take the children from their mother. Madame Calcet, recently homeless, works in a laundry and hopes to find a home soon.Read Less
Armand, an old hobo, lives in the olden days of Paris. In the freezing cold of December, he finds a small helpless family, and he surely can't leave them to fend for themselves. Grudgingly, he takes them in. He doesn't want to feel responsible for these 'starlings', as he calls the young children... but Armand immediately realizes that he must protect his soft heart before the children nuzzle their way into it.
Together, this small bunch concocts their own simple Christmas festivities, in the middle of the city streets. Even though don't have any extra coins to spare, they try to find a way to celebrate the Christmas spirit.
This is a lovely holiday story about finding out about the best presents to give. Join the little gang in this simply-written, but effective story. It might be a young children's book, but anyone young-at-heart will certainly enjoy "The Family Under the Bridge".
Jul 20, 2009
A Charming Family Under a Bridge in Paris
One of the sweetest most charming books I have ever read. This is a story of some wonderful little French children who are hard on their luck and "living rough" when they encounter a bum who trys to be grumpy and unloving but falls in love with the little family. We follow them through Christmas all the way up to New Year.
The story is not an overly bleak look at homelessness (it is for children after all), and is not particularly whitewashed either. It is always sweet and just so heartwarming. The ending was delightful. What a treat this little book is. It felt like something written by a Parisian during maybe the twenties or the Depression but I am surprised to see it was written by an American in the late 90's!
Feb 28, 2009
The illustrations were interesting and vivid. The narrator's descriptions were cumbersome and awkward. By the middle of the book, there were too many religious references: okay if the reader is a devout Christian, but my children and I are not and therefore, because it was so wordy, as well, didn't bother to read the book past page 72. We had wasted enough time on this book which promted Christianity and the killing of animals.
Jan 18, 2008
Family Under the Bridge
An endearing story that every child and adult alike would be inspired to read due to its tender ability to demonstrates how a man's aimless wondering can be exchanged for a purposeful life. The story line depicts a poor French hobo reticent to settle down, obtain a job, and raise a family. However, the indigent needs of the children who surprisingly take up his only abode under the bridge, have a way of stealing his heart. Weary, famished, and purposeless Armand learns to love, guide, and become an honest citizen as the needs of the helpless become more important to him than the pursuit of his own pleasure or freedom to be unaccountable to others. The story line is most valuable in helping one shed preconceived notions and prejudices against the homeless, causing one to understand the plight of those without shelter, purpose, direction, or financial stability. A valuable book for children and adult for its ability to waken one to renewed levels of civic consciousness.
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