Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory is a humorous take on the Tour de France. Amongst the lean, helmeted cyclists, Monsieur Albert looks like the ultimate underdog in his glasses, scarf, brown suit with bike clips on the pant legs and his panniers packed with snacks, clean underwear, sunscreen and a toothbrush.
The text is entertaining and rhythmic with the rhyming stanzas helping readers with the pronunciation of unfamiliar French words used occasionally in the text. I loved the story and, as always, Bob Graham's wonderfully warm, appealing illustrations. I was a little concerned that Monsieur Albert is considered so old at the age of 60, but I'm sure to young readers who consider anyone over the age of 20 to be 'really old', it will seem entirely appropriate that Monsieur Albert is considered to be so ancient.
Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory is a collaboration between keen cyclist, author Peter Smith, and his brother-in-law, well known illustrator Bob Graham. The book is an enjoyable story for any family to read, but will be particularly appreciated by families that follow the Tour de France, helping children connect with the passion that leads older family members to sacrifice sleep to follow the progress of the event live.
Title: Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory
Author: Peter Smith
Illustrator: Bob Graham
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2012
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture book