Have you ever heard of Samivel? I definitely hadn’t heard of him before coming to the Les Contamines! Samivel is a wonderful alpine author but he also wrote beautiful stories and albums for children. t’s time to learn a little more…
Samivel, a local by adoption, is primarily a mountaineer, explorer, author, cartoonist and film producer who has always been committed to sharing his passion for nature and the mountains, notably with children. He discovered the mountains of Les Contamines as a young boy when his mother bought a chalet here. The fresh mountain air was good for his fragile lungs.
Born at the beginning of the century in Paris, Paul Garcia-Tancrède (his real name) was educated in Chambéry. At 21 years of age he began his career as an illustrator for the review “La Vie Alpine”. Rapidly he wrote his first children’s books: Mr Dumollet on Mont-Blanc, the wacky adventures of a Breton from Saint-Malo, Voyages in the glaciers of Savoie and Switerland, and Trag the chamois – an animal tale about a native chamois in the Massif des Écrins
The old and young will also enjoy ‘Tartarin in the Alps’, a re-edition of the famous Tartarin of Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet, this time on a trip to Switzerland: written by Daudet and illustrated by Samivel.
Samivel also wrote a series of wonderful books on other topics. He is the author of tales inspired by fables from the middle ages such as Goupil – an album illustrated with watercolors in which the clever fox Goupil never misses an opportunity to ridicule his uncle, a wolf named Ysengrin – or the Pied Piper by Hamelin. In all these albums, Samivel the storyteller is also the illustrator. His talent even inspired the great Walt Disney.
These days it isn’t easy to obtain one of Samivel’s works as some are out of print. Fortunately, the library in Les Contamines
Available at the village library:
– Bon voyage Monsieur Dumollet
– Brun l’Ours
Click here for further information on the local library.
New and second hand copies of the following editions can be found in the shops. Tartarin sur les Alpes (éditions Hoëbeke) ; Monsieur Dumollet sur le Mont Blanc (Hachette / Bibliothèque verte / Hoëbeke) ; Le Joueur de Flûte de Hamelin (Flammarion / le Père Castor).