25,5 cm × 38 cm
A little girl goes to spend the summer with her grandfather; a man she barely knows and who lives in a hut hidden away in the middle of the fields.
“Some are afraid of monsters hidden under their beds, wizards and vampires who haunt the dark nights of children's books; I was afraid of my granddad, Leo”.
War is raging in the country. And yet, the little girl has the best summer of her life. A summer spent learning to talk to the birds, looking for animals in the clouds, with grandpa Léon and Gaspard, his companion.
The little girl looks back as a grown up. Butterflies blinking in the sun, the smell of cut grass and the colour of poppies.
The wonderful smell of summer holidays is an ode to nature, an invitation to look at it and to listen to it – to enjoy simple little pleasures. Through this melancholy story based on memory, the author also creates a contrast between a dark period of history – war – and the carefree existence of childhood and nature. Summer as a moment suspended in time, a bubble in which everything is peaceful and beautiful.
“At that point, I didn’t know if I should blame granddad Leo or thank him for making me forget the times we were living in”.
One day, Leon gives the young girl a camera, through which she discovers the world and nature. Full-page gouache illustrations are accompanied by sepia type photo illustrations and anecdotes.
All things considered it's also a love story; the love that unites a grandfather and his granddaughter in tenderness, modesty and mischief.