The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
Belle and Sébastien: the child of the mountains
Publisher: Alma Books
Belle and Sébastien are born on the same snowy day. Sébastien, whose mother dies, is taken in by doctor Guillaume and his grandchildren. Belle, a beautiful mountain dog, is instead passed from owner to owner until she finally escapes.
When she's spotted near Sébastien's village, the villagers are convinced that Belle is a dangerous dog and they have to get rid of her. Sébastien does not like this plan, and takes it upon himself to save her. The two develop a strong friendship, with Sébastien protecting Belle from the villagers, and Belle protecting Sébastien from the many dangers of the mountain.
Belle and Sébastien is a much-loved children's classic in France from the 1960s, and has only recently been translated into English. At times the language can feel a bit antiquated, but the story still possesses a certain charm. It is a touching story of the unbreakable bond between a child and his dog.