​STAFF PICKS

Not sure what to chose? Here are our staff's favourites! Come back every week for a new staff pick from our Resource Centre:

Hugo - The Adventures of Buck Danny

Volume 35 of The Adventures of Buck Danny, entitled "The squadron of death", takes place in Mantegua (a fictional country in South America) close to the Caribbean Sea. This country faces a civil war and an atomic bomb has been stolen by the rebels. For this adventure, Buck and his friends had to be hired as pilots within the guerrilla in order to scuttle every attempt from the guerrilla to use the bomb in a bad way.

Buck Danny is a pilot in the US Air Force, who during the volumes is going to take part in the most important conflicts in the world, piloting the most historical and mythical planes of the history of the military aviation.

What I find fascinating in comic books is the fact that the hero never gets old. Indeed, the adventures of Buck Danny start in 1942, during the Second World War and in the last volume, in 2016, he is still a pilot in the US Army, with the most modern planes.

This volume is well-written and doesn’t have any timeouts.

I chose Buck Danny because aviation is one of my hobbies. I started to develop this passion when I was 10, by traveling and taking planes. I find this invention just incredible because it allows us to reach every destination on the globe in just a couple of hours. I own all the volumes in France, and even more I bought the last one before coming here in Wellington. This comic book is really part of my childhood.

For all the aviation enthusiasts, history and comic books ones, I highly recommend you to read Buck Danny.

Laurie - Le Petit Prince

Le Petit Prince is definitely one of my favourite books. I read it first as a kid and loved both the story and drawings even if I didn’t understand the whole philosophical message at that time. Two years ago, I decided that I should read it again and was very pleased and surprised. I was expecting a lovely cute children story but ended up thinking a lot about all the themes, symbols and metaphors introduced in the novel.

 

The little prince will indeed take you on a journey around different planets where you will meet a king, a vain man, a drunkard, a businessman, a lamplighter, and a geographer who all live alone and are highly consumed by their chosen occupations. Their strange behavior both amuses and disturbs the little prince. He does not understand their need to order people around, to be admired, and to own everything. On the other hand, the little prince befriends a fox who teaches him that the important things in life are visible only to the heart.

 

I recommend this book to everyone, from every age and every French level. It was first published in 1943 and written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a famous French writer, poet, and pioneering aviator. Last year, the first adaptation as a full-length animated film directed by Mark Osborne was released and very-well received by the critics and myself! I definitely recommend both!

Claire - Le premier jour du reste de ma vie

This movie by Rémi Besançon, featuring Jacques Gamblin, Zabou Breitman and the Quebecker actor from C.R.A.Z.Y, Marc-Andre Grondin, is definitely one of my favourite French films. The two first actors are well-known in France and play wonderfully.

It’s a simple story about a French family that we can all relate to, at least on some level. The movie is divided into five days in the life of a French family, at different age: their happy moments, their little problems and tragedies. Thus, the movie oscillates between funny moments and serious parts. It’s moving and simple and it shows the complexity of family relationships, people we have to put up with through easy and tough times. Also, there is a good soundtrack, it’s always something not to be overlooked.  

Hugo - Le Voyage de Chihiro

Spirited Away is an animated movie realised by one of the greatest masters of Japanese animation, Hayao Miyazaki and produced by the Ghibli studio in 2001.

Miyazaki was born in 1941 in Tokyo and he is one of the co-funder of the Ghibli studio. He started to get famous with the release of Princess Mononoke in 1999.

This movie is probably my favorite from Miyazaki. It tells us the story of Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl who goes with her parents to their new house but the family gets lost and finally arrives in the spirit world. Her parents are then transformed into pigs by the witch Yubaba. Chihiro will have to accept a job in the establishment of the witch to save her parents and go back into the human world.

In this movie, I really appreciate the fact that Miyazaki speaks about themes that are really important for him, such as the danger of the modern and urban society on nature and also the Japanese ancestral traditions.

Miyazaki is for me one of the greatest masters of Japanese animation because he produced and realised many animation movies that were, and still are, great moments of my childhood.

And Spirited Away is still nowadays the biggest success in the history of Japanese cinema. Even the international world of cinema considers this movie as one of the greatest since the beginning of this century - it won the Oscar of the best animation movie in Cannes in 2002.

Spirited Away is definitely a movie for everybody, not only children but also adults. And it is still a pleasure to watch it again and again.

Christelle - Et Après

Guillaume Musso is one of the most read authors in France. I have read most of his books but I picked « Et après » as it is one of my favourites. Musso’s thriller is an easy read with no complex vocabulary and you won’t want to put it down once started. The release of the book has been such a success that a film adaptation starring Romain Durris, John Malkovich and Evangeline Lily has been made. The movie is in English as set in the United States. The book has been translated in 24 languages worldwide.

The story depicts the life of Nathan who nearly died at eight trying to save a young girl from drowning. Twenty years later he has become a succesful lawyer leaving his family behind. His life seems quite ordinary until an encounter with a mysterious doctor changes his life forever.

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