Charlie Travers book coverThe pleasures of Aix en Provence - wine, art, history, culture - are mostly rather adult ones. But this book set in the city aims to bring Aix alive for children aged from 8 to 12.

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The author, Gill Baconnier, describes Charlie Travers Time Traveller: Operation Cézanne as "Enid-Blyton-meets-Doctor-Who".

And there's a dash of Harry Potter thrown in too in her gently humorous adventure thriller about a 12-year-old boy whose family likes to take off on ramshackle time-travel holidays in a psychedelic camper van.

Charlie reluctantly goes along with his parents' hobby and finds himself plonked in Aix in 1902 (with flashbacks to the eras of Romans and dinosaurs for good measure).

The city's great landmarks - the Cours Mirabeau, La Rotonde and the Old Town - form the backdrop to her yarn of an epic art heist, and an irascible Paul Cézanne puts in a brief appearance as a supporting character.

Baconnier (pictured below) lived in Aix for 15 years, where she worked at the CIPEC, a bilingual primary school. "I wish I'd had this sort of book for my children then," says the writer, who has three daughters, now grown-up.

Gill Baconnier"They did tend to get bored with traipsing around museums - I suppose that's partly why I wrote this. It's aimed at children on holiday in Aix with their parents, so they'll have something fun and informative to read.

"It's a sort of travel guide in disguise, if you like. I hope they will have fun searching for all the places mentioned in the book - I managed to get all the main monuments in!"

The book is the first in a series planned by Bongo, a educational publisher, which is developing interactive language exercises to go with the book and travel notes for the locations featured in it, as well as an edition adapted for smartphones.

You can buy Charlie Travers, Time Traveller: Operation Cézanneimage! here.

 

 

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