Desmoinaux, Christel 1967-

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DESMOINAUX, Christel 1967-


Born March 28, 1967, in Nogent-sur-Marne, France; daughter of Alain (a managing director) and Ginette (Mathieu) Desmoinaux. Education: Attended Met de Penninghen (art school; Paris, France), 1984-86; École de Communication Visuelle (Paris, France), 1986-88. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, cinema, languages, literature, music, theater.


Home and office 57, rue de Tolbiac, 75013 Paris, France. E-mail [email protected].


Illustrator, 1988.



Comme il rougit, M. Souris!, Bordas (Paris, France), 1989.

Panique dans l'ascenseur, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1991.

Julia n'en rate pas une!, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1991.

A la ferme, Nathan (Paris, France), 1992.

Au zoo, Nathan (Paris, France), 1992.

Henri tête-en-l'air, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 1992.

L'Oeuf de Madame Poule (title means "Mrs. Hen's Egg"), Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 1998, English translation published as Mrs. Hen's Big Surprise, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2000.

Dis-moi qu'est-ce que c'est Halloween?, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 1998, English translation published as Hallo-what?, Margaret K. McElderry (New York, NY), 2003.

Chroniques le la ferme, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 1998.

Rosa veut maigrir, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 1999.

Émile et Lucette, École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 1999.

Marius le minus, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2000.

Bonne nuit, Mulotte!, Retz (Paris, France), 2000.

Le meilleur ami de Suzette, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2000.

Prends-moi dans tes bras, École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2000.

Babou est grognon, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2001.

Courage, Gaston!, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2001.

Aldo est malade, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2001.

Lucie et la brebis, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2002.

L'anniversaire d'Aldo, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2002.

Aldo et son doudou, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2002.

Aldo au supermarché, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2002.

Aldo au square, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2002.

Plouk, École des Loisirs (Paris, France), 2002.

Filou le matou, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2003.

Debout, c'est Noël, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2003.

Arsène le glouton, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2003.


Frédérique Rotillon, Des vacances inoubliables, Nathan (Paris, France), 1990.

Odile Hellmann-Hurpoil, Le Nan-nan d'aurélien, Casterman (Paris, France), 1991.

Agnès Vandewiele, Toute une journée, Nathan (Paris, France), 1992.

Dolores Mora, Dix histoires de sorcieres, Lito (Champignysur-Marne, France), 1993.

Agnès Vandewiele, Ma maison, Nathan (Paris, France), 1993.

Agnès Vandewiele, La vie de bébé, Nathan (Paris, France), 1993.

Dolorès Mora, Le grillon violoniste, Lito (Champigny-sur-Marne, France), 1994.

René Tharlet, Jeux de plein air et d'interieur, Lito (Champigny-sur-Marne, France), 1995.

Jean-François Martin and Sylvie Albert, Petites chansons pour tous les jours, Nathan (Paris, France), 1996.

Sara Cone Bryant, Natha Caputo, Sylvie Albert, and Hervé Blondon, Petites histoires à raconter, Nathan (Paris, France), 1997.

Sophie Bellosguardo, Petite methode pour commencer a nager: Des quatre ans, Retz (Paris, France), 1997.

Karine-Marie Voyer, Moïse et la princesse, Mame (Paris, France), 1998.

Jack Delaroche, J'ai pas peur des ombres!, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1998.

Jack Delaroche, J'ai pas peur de l'école!, Fleurus (Paris, France), 2000.

Cathy Franco, J'ai pas peur des animaux! (based on the concept by Jack Delaroche), Fleurus (Paris, France), 2000.

Hélène Benait, Mots rimés pour lire sans trébucher, Actes Sud Junior (Paris, France), 2000.

Nathalie Bélineau, Maman attend un bébé, Fleurus (Paris, France), 2001.

Marie-Claire, J'ai attrapé une sorcière, Milan (Toulouse, France), 2001.

Emile Beaumont, L'album de bébé (for boys), Fleurus (Paris, France), 2001.

Emile Beaumont, L'album de bébé (for girls), Fleurus (Paris, France), 2001.

René Tharlet, Cinquante jeux de plein air, Lito (Champigny-sur-Marne, France), 2003.

Contributor of illustrations to Histoires d'animaux, de sorcières et de lutins, Lito (Champigny-sur-Marne, France), 2000.


Professeur est en colere, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1989.

Baby-sitter de choc, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1989.

Un Déjeuner mouvementé, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1989.

Drole de plombier, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1989.

Papa fait un regime, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1989.

Le Professeur est en colere, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1989.

Tonton catastrophe, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1989.

Quel malheur! Un enfant bricoleur, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1990.

Petits boulots, bobo!, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1990.

La fête foraine, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1990.

Un dimanche tres agite, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1991.

Genial! L'anniversaire de Juliette, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1991.

Tonton farceur, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1992.

Boum de Vincent, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1992.

Qui va nous garder, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1992.

Vive la colo, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1993.

Benjamin passe a la tele, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1993.

Un journee orageuse, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1993.

Papa invite son patron, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1993.

Boudu chien savant, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1994.

Docteur mamie, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1994.

Juliette gagne sa vie, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1994.

La mob de Vincent, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1994.

Les soucis de felicie, Nathan (Paris, France), 1994.

Un depart agite, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1995.

Bouzou le loup est amoureux, Nathan (Paris, France), 1995.

Bravo la famille, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1995.

La foire à tout, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1995.

La grande kermesse, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1995.

Le tableau de maman, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1995.

Le joies des sports d'hiver, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1996.

Roi de la feve, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1996.

Dur, dur, le pique-nique!, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1996.

La fête des mères, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1996.

Poulette-Douillette, Nathan (Paris, France), 1996.

Ah, quel mariage! Fleurus (Paris, France), 1997.

Le carnaval de Juliette, Fleurus (Paris, France), 1997.


Hansel et Gretel, Lito (Champigny-sur-Marne, France), 1992.

Blanche-Neige, Lito (Champigny-sur-Marne, France), 1994.

Le Loup et les sept Chevreaux, Hachette Jeunesse (Paris, France), 1996.


Les Chiffres, Nathan (Paris, France), 1995, translation by Janet Neis published as Numbers, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1997.

Les Lettres, Nathan (Paris, France), 1995, published as Letters, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1997.

Les Contraires, Nathan (Paris, France), 1996, published as Opposites, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1997.

Les Couleurs, Nathan (Paris, France), 1996, published as Colors, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 1997.


Illustrator of the cartoon series Bravo la Famille, for the television station France 3, 1993.


Although she has written and illustrated numerous children's book in her native France, until recently Christel Desmoinaux was little known in the United States. This changed with the publication of English translations of two of Desmoinaux's self-illustrated books, Mrs. Hen's Big Surprise (originally published as L'Oeuf de Madame Poule ) and Hallo-What? (originally published as Dis-moi qu'est-ce que c'est Halloween? ), the story of a little French girl who is not familiar with the American holiday of Halloween.

Mrs. Hen's Big Surprise is about the title fowl, who is despondent because she has no chicks of her own. So when she finds a huge, spotted egg in her garden, she carts it into her house and sits on it, ignoring the abuse heaped on her by her skeptical barnyard neighbors. Finally, when the egg fails to hatch, Mrs. Hen moves it back into the garden, where it rolls away and cracks open to reveal a pink-and-blue dinosaur. The story is similar to many other children's books about mixed animal families, some reviewers noted, but they also commented favorably on Desmoinaux's cheerful illustrations. The "whimsical" sketches "give the book a certain quirky charm," remarked Lisa Dennis in School Library Journal, and Booklist 's Hazel Rochman thought that the "richly colored cartoon illustrations" make Mrs. Hen's environment look like "a playground where anything can happen."

Desmoinaux once told SATA: "As far as I remember, I've always enjoyed drawing. At the age of eight or nine, I used to spend hours putting the stories I imagined on paper, sitting at the little table in the living room, while my parents were watching television. Like books, drawing always provided a good way to enter a secret world of my own where all that I wanted could happen to my heroes, most of them beautiful princesses. By the age of eleven, I knew I would prefer working in an artistic profession if I had the chance, which, with the help and support of my parents, luckily occurred.

"Illustrating for children is, of course, a link with my own childhood. There are a few pictures [from my childhood reading] I remember vividly (one from Blue-beard, for example), and I like to think that some of my pictures will make lasting impressions on the children who are now reading my books.

"I am interested in a lot of things in addition to illustration. I enjoy traveling to other countries; I have a great interest in cinema; and I like readingin English, if possible, to stay in practice. I share my life with an English man, which also helps. . . . Of course, I love Paris, which is, culturally speaking, a place where you always have an infinity of choices when you want to go out."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 1, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Mrs. Hen's Big Surprise, p. 1468; September 1, 2003, Gillian Engberg, review of Hallo-What?, p. 134.

Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2003, review of Hallo-What?, p. 78.

School Library Journal, April, 2000, Lisa Dennis, review of Mrs. Hen's Big Surprise, p. 103.

Sesame Street, June, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of Mrs. Hen's Big Surprise, p. 2S38.


Christel Desmoinaux Home Page, (November 20, 2003).*