Marguerite Makes a Book (Getty Trust Publications: J. Paul Getty Museum)

by Bruce Robertson

Hardcover, 1999



Call number

940.1 Rob

Call number

940.1 Rob

Local notes

940.1 Rob



J. Paul Getty Museum (1999), Edition: 1, 44 pages


In medieval Paris, Marguerite helps her nearly blind father finish painting an illuminated manuscript for his patron, Lady Isabelle.


Original language


Physical description

44 p.; 9 inches


089236372X / 9780892363728



User reviews

LibraryThing member momma2
This was a wonderful book with wonderful examples of illumination, extremely informative and beautiful to look at. The children were inspired to illuminate!
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Set in Paris in the 1400s, this engaging work of historical fiction for the picture-book set follows the story of Marguerite, daughter of Papa Jacques, one of the most renowned book-makers in the city. Growing older, with failing eyesight, Marguerite's father struggles to finish his latest commission - a beautifully illuminated Book of Hours intended for his patroness, the Lady Isabelle. When an accident puts him out of commission for a time, Marguerite steps in to finish the last few pages of the book, doing such an excellent job that her father introduces her as his most talented assistant.

With illustrations that perfectly match the theme of the story - I loved the decorative borders on many of the pages, and appreciated both the vivid colors used throughout, and the general beauty of each scene, whether on the streets on Paris or in Marguerite's father's workshop - and an appealing heroine who steps up when facing a challenge, Marguerite Makes a Book manages to be beautiful, educational and entertaining. Children will learns quite a bit about book-making in late medieval times, before the invention of the printing-press, and gain an appreciation for the craftsmanship involved in book illustration, while also enjoying a story about a girl who helps her beloved father, when he is in need. A glossary at the rear gives the definition of many of the terms used in the story, adding another educational dimension to the book. I did wonder about the issue of gender, and whether girls ever did follow their fathers into their respective trades in real life - it would have been nice to have an afterword discussing this - but leaving that aside, this was an outstanding book! Recommended to young readers who enjoy historical fiction, are interested in medieval Europe, or are curious about book-making in times past.
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(24 ratings; 4.2)
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