It’s spring! Warm and green, the great outdoors beckons, especially when you’ve built a fort to play in with your friends. Our Fort is the story of three friends who set out one day to visit their secret fort at the edge of the woods. The weather looks fine, but no sooner have they left home and walked into the hills than the sun disappears behind the clouds. Crows fly by, calling, and the wind begins to blow.
Suddenly the day turns into night. It’s a storm! Will the friends make it to shelter? Will their fort survive the storm? Marie Dorléans’s illustrations capture the sensory pleasures of nature, as well as its capriciousness, while her story reminds us of the simple joy of being with friends and sharing a great adventure.
Published with the support of Villa Albertine, in partnership with the French Embassy.
Marie Dorléans studied art and art history at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, France. She graduated in 2010 and has worked as a children's book illustrator since then. Her previous book, Night Walk, won the Prix Landerneau in the best children's book category and was voted as one of the best illustrated children's books of 2021 by The New York Times and the New York Public Library.
Alyson Waters has translated several works from the French by Albert Cossery, Louis Aragon, René Belletto, and many others and has received a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a PEN Translation Fund grant, and residency grants from the Centre National du Livre and Villet Gillet in Lyon. She teaches literary translation in the French department of Yale University and is the managing editor of Yale French Studies. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Dorléans demonstrates a keen eye and ear for the chatter and preoccupations of children left to their own devices, and her story shows respect for their independence, creativity, and resilience. This celebration of a day spent outdoors may inspire young readers to embark on their own explorations, and it serves to remind adults why unstructured time is so valuable. -- The Horn Book, starred review
Dorléans's beautifully wielded artwork possesses a boundless energy. The delicate lines; the eye-catching details; the tight focus on the kids when the storm arrives; the quality of light before and after the storm: It all adds up to a visually rich story of the gifts (and scares and thrills) that the capricious outdoor world brings to those who make time for it. It's a thrilling adventure, this one. -- Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Dorléans ( The Night Walk) celebrates the magic of visiting a secret fort--an event that has less to do with the physical fort itself and more with the adventure of having one. . . . The long path pictured out the front door of a country house invites the children--and readers--deep into green hills: broad, sweeping oceans of grass and sky are washed with blues and greens; delicate tree leaves are worked in tiny, intricate black lines. . . . [a] tempestuous meditation on childhood freedom. -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
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