I love Celeste's character. There's something quaint and vulnerable about her. She spends her days weaving baskets and searching for food. She's bullied by the rats who live under the floorboards. And all she really wants is a safe home and to be surrounded by friends.
Escaping danger (c-a-t), Celeste finds herself trapped in the world above the floorboards when she is befriended by Audubon's young apprentice, Joseph. And her search for "home" continues in places she didn't know existed... Joseph's pocket, a dollhouse, a worn boot! And, throughout the story she meets quite a few surprising friends.
A Nest for Celeste is a delightful little novel that is beautifully illustrated. I think it lends itself to being read outloud... a cousin text to Edward Tulane or Charlotte's Web. I loved it and I can't wait to share it with my students. What is it about mice? We hate them when they invade our pantries, our walls, or our garages, but we love them when they turn up in stories like this... endearing themselves to us long after we close the book.
I love the illustrations... and I love the feel of the paper on which this book is printed. I learned so much about Audubon's own illustrations that I didn't know before I bought this one. And, I love how Henry Cole treats us to all the wonders of art, the joy of friendship, and then leaves us with a little lump in our throats at the end. Don't we all really want a home to call our own?