Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 28, 2017

Book Giveaway – Marielle in Paris by Maxine Rose Schur

Congratulations to Maxine Rose Schur and Illustrator Jeanne B. de Sainte Marie on their new picture book MARIELLE IN PARIS. Jeanne has offered send a book to one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.


Marielle the mouse is a dressmaker and she makes her home in an upside-down flowerpot in Paris. One day, the elegant Madame de Sooree asks Marielle to make nine dresses for her nine daughters—Berenice, Babette, Belle, Bernadette, Blanche, Blondelle, Brie, Brigitte, and Beatrice­—for their birthday party.

Marielle tours the city, looking for creative inspiration. But with only ten days until the party, will she be able to deliver the dresses on time? Even after a big wind whooshes through her workroom? Her friend Pierre the pigeon can help, but only if Marielle can overcome her fear of heights to take a wild ride over Paris!


This journey begins in Paris, where I have lived for many years.  Like the Cole Porter song, “I love Paris in the springtime…the fall…”(not so much when it “drizzles” and “sizzles”) but nearly, “every moment of the year.” Maxine Rose Schur, the author of Marielle in Paris loves this city too.

Maxine comes to Paris every chance she gets. We met when she attended an informal SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) meeting in our apartment. I showed her some of my illustrations, which inspired her to write this charming story about a Parisian mouse. Both the child and the adult in me felt akin to the Marielle character when I read it, so I did some sample illustrations. We were very happy when Pomegranate Communications decided to publish it.

Marielle is a dress designer and a dressmaker. Her creative process consists of daydreaming, gleaning inspiration from the sights of Paris, sketching and then putting her nose to her worktable. Like Marielle, I find inspiration visiting museums, savoring the street markets or just walking without a specific purpose. In my illustrations, I tried to show that ideas can come from grand attractions as well as small details, after careful study or during a fleeting moment. For example, I show Marielle creating a dress inspired by cathedral of Notre Dame and another one inspired the colors of the sails on a toy boat, rather than by the Louvre in the background.

The child in me invented an upside-down flowerpot home for Marielle with furniture made from little things such as bobby pins, golf tees, buttons, spools of thread.  I imagined musicians playing instruments made from a comb, a key, a match-box piano…But then my adult self had to design and draw it all!

For a while I struggled with how to draw a round and tapering furnished interior with a mezzanine. I cursed the day I imagined the flowerpot house.  At one point, I realized that the hinges I had drawn on the flowerpot wouldn’t work at the top and bottom of the door like a “normal” one!  Sometimes I had to double-check if I had remembered to draw the tail for each of the 11 mice in the book. I have always liked detailed work though, and I enjoyed working these things out. I hope that people will have fun discovering new things each time they read the book.

Another difficulty throughout the book was the scale. I had to show some of the grandeur of Paris as well as a tiny mouse character. Often I drew and painted the characters separately from the backgrounds and later Photo-shopped them together, adjusting size.

Marielle is not comfortable in high places. Yet, to retrieve her missing dresses, she must overcome her fear and fly high above Paris. Each of my areal views was composed using various photographic sources, never just one, since the perspective was never exactly the same as I wanted. For the other Paris scenes I went out and about to sketch or photograph reference material.

One of the things I love about Marielle is that she isn’t a flashy character. She is a humble mouse, yet capable of flamboyant and fanciful creations. A mouse after my own heart, who is very lucky indeed to have a flowerpot home in my favorite Parisian garden—le Jardin de Luxembourg!


Jeanne B. de Sainte Marie is an illustrator, author, and an avowed daydreamer since childhood. Now she dreams up fictional worlds for children’s books. Her work is published in picture books, travel notebooks, apps, children’s calendars and magazines. Jeanne’s watercolors are regularly exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic. She illustrated the iPad poetry app, A Word’s A Bird with hundreds of watercolor paintings and animation drawings. The app was selected for School Library Journal’s “Best of 2013” and noted for its “Caldecott Award-quality.” Jeanne hails from Michigan where she studied art and textile design at the University of Michigan and the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

For years she created color and materials for the automotive industry in Detroit and then in Paris, where she settled.


Maxine Rose Schur is an award-winning children’s book author and travel writer. She has written ten books for young people, including picture books and historical novels. A former professional actor, she gives guest lectures and teaches writing workshops. She has a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in liberal arts from Stanford University.

Thank you Jeanne for sharing your journey with us and offering one lucky winner a copy of your new book, MARIELLE IN PARIS.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Sounds like such a cute story! Love the illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The book looks adorable and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!!


  3. What a sweet book! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a pretty book!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love, love, love Jeanne B. de Sainte Marie’s work, and this story by Maxine Rose Schur is so appealing. Well done you two (and to your editor, agents, art director, crit groups – the whole village)!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pinned, Facebooked and tweeted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, does this book speak to me this day! Oct. 10 I leave for a much dreamed about, much put off and set aside, trip to Europe and to my dream city…Paris. What a joy it would be to travel there with Marielle!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. WOW. I love this book. i can’t wait to read it. Maxine and Jeanne created such a beautiful story. I shared on FB & Twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dearest Jeanne, I can’t wait to have your book! A dream come true, yes? Much much love and great success!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This book sounds delightful! I tweeted and posted on FB as well. Congratulations Jeanne!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a wonderful looking book, I know my nieces are sure to enjoy it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I pinned an image on Pinterest with a link: and tweeted on Twitter: Thanks again, have a great day!


  12. Love this story, I sew too. And the illustrations are gorgeous. If I don’t win, I’ll buy it for grandkids.


  13. Love this story, I sew too. And the illustrations are gorgeous.


  14. This looks adorable! When I was about 8 my dad helped me make a “mouse house” out of wood. I glued little stones on the wall to make a fireplace, sewed little flour sacks, made a little table and chairs. I imagined all sorts of stories with that little house!


  15. Beautiful Paris and a charming mouse?–this looks terrific! I love the colors!


  16. Looks like a great book for my granddaughter. I posted on FB and Twitter. thanks.


  17. What a delightful looking book! Can’t wait to read it! I just tweeted about the giveaway too 🙂


  18. Maxine’s story of Marielle sounds adorable and enchanting and I LOVE the flower pot house 😀 I know you struggled with it, Jeanne, but it looks GREAT! Congrats to you both!

    And, of course, I share on Twitter (and Facebook, in turn).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: