Phileas’s Fortune: A Story About Self-Expression

Phileas’s Fortune,  is written by French author, Agnes de Lestrade, illustrated by Valeria Docampo and published in 2010 by Magination Press, American Psychological Association.  The text is very lyrical, and holds a very simple but powerful message for children 4-8 years of age about what is important in life.  This is another book I would add to my book shelf, because no matter the age of the child, it’s meaning will grow in value and in significance.  Children will enjoy Docampo’s illustrations, which are bold and in shades of brown and red, which add tremendously to the book’s appeal and message.

Phileas lives in a very unusual land, where words are made in a large word factory.   There are beautiful, silly and ugly words, expressions,  baby words, and words that people need to speak to one another.   The words must be bought from shops, so people can swallow the words they need to speak.  However, many words cost more than others, and some people can’t afford to buy specific words.   Old words are thrown away in trash cans, where people might find and use them.  Other words can be found floating in the air and caught with nets.  That’s how Phileas caught three words one day to speak to his friend, Cybele, on her birthday.   Phileas really wants to wish Cybele  Happy Birthday and I Love You,  but he can’t afford to buy those words.   A rich bully tries to ruin Phileas’s surprise when he speaks his feelings for Cybele.   But, the love that Phileas holds in his heart for Cybele is more precious than anything money can buy.  He speaks his three words to Cybele and they settle deep within her heart.  Cybele doesn’t have any words to use, but gently kisses Phileas’s cheek.  And, Phileas responds with a word he has saved for a long time.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

7 thoughts on “Phileas’s Fortune: A Story About Self-Expression

  1. Oh, how intriguing! I must find this and read it! Your review definitely left me wanting more…

    Back after searching the online library catalogue. Our local library doesn’t have even one copy, but there are other libraries in the province that do, and I’ve finally realized that with our new provincewide library system, I can easily request books from other libraries, so I’ve got this wonderful-sounding book on request now!


    • Thought you might like this one. Phileas’s Fortune is a one-of-a kind book. I was grateful to discover it and it will remain on my bookshelf. Glad you could find a copy. We have a similar system.


  2. Thanks Pat, you were right, I would find this book intriguing and special. So pleased you SM’d me. I too will be searching our library website for this book. How very clever some writers are… to be able to pick a simple word (like “words”) and turn it into a story like this, so incredible with its timeless meaning behind it. Thanks again.
    Oh meant to add…your previous post btw was also very interesting, (I must be slipping in keeping up with blog reads and comments… sorry!) Isn’t the Campaign mindblowing!…


    • As a writer, I thought you would find this picture book of interest. The author was so creative and really stretched her imagination to write this beautiful story of self-expression. I’m glad you got a peek. Agree, too much going on right now.



  3. Pingback: Phileas’s Fortune : A Story About Self-Expression by Agnès de Lestrade | Top 100 Children's Books

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