Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower

Yesterday I had planned to post about a beautifully illustrated book that I came across at work.  Of course, things changed, as is natural, and instead I posted about my beloved Bloo.  I do still want to share the book about the Eiffel Tower with you though.


First off, I do not know if this story is true.  I did some poking around on the Internet and most of the known story about the Eiffel Tower being designed for the 1889 World’s Fair seems to be very straightforward.  Gustave Eiffel (and other engineers) designed the tower to stand 1,063 feet tall, the same as an 81-story building.

The picture book, with it’s fabulous vintage-feeling illustrations, seems to suggest that Eiffel designed the tower to help his wife overcome depression.  The story is not really clear if it cured her or if she died.  It’s poetic, but the ending is confusing.  I’m not sure kids would understand this.


The author,  Alice Brière-Haquet, and illustrator, Csil, made a beautiful book, but it’s probably not one that I’d use in class.  I love the style and the idea of the story is beautiful, but I just couldn’t find definitive proof that this is a true story, or even a fictionalized version of real events.  I think it’s a great book for looking at a different illustration style, but it’s not a great book for gathering facts.


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