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Le Château Bidaine: U.S. Designer Turns Miniature Model of 17th Century French Hunting Lodge Into Unique Bilingual Coloring Book

While it may sound unusual, it’s a whole lot of fun! After Suze Perry-Hinkle created a miniature 1:12 scale representation of Le Château Bidaine, a 17th-Century French hunting lodge located in Aix-en-Provence, she had the ingenious idea of turning photos of the miniature into a coloring book for children (and adults). The result is an educational French and English-language coloring book that allows children to explore a piece of quintessential European architecture, learning a little along the way about this historical building and its eccentric modern-day owners.


Sausalito, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/14/2014 -- Suze Perry-Hinkle loves architecture, especially creating miniature buildings that boast the same fine details and materials that make up their real-world counterparts. One of her latest masterpieces is modeled after Le Château Bidaine, a 17th-Century hunting lodge in Aix-en-Provence, France. To make this magnificent building accessible to all, she has created a most unique children’s coloring book.

‘Le Château Bidaine’ fuses forty-three colorable pages with bilingual French and English-language information about the house and its owners, from their love for period clothing to their 40 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Every facet of the house that was transformed into Perry-Hinkle’s replica now also graces the pages of the new book.


Suze Perry-Hinkle has created a coloring book from her masterpiece in miniature, the Chateau Bidaine. Based on the real chateau, located in Aix-en-Provence, France, this architectural miniature is meticulously appointed down to the mini Cavalier King Charles spaniels that are the owners' pets. The book has text in English and French, with 43 pages to color. Printing is single-sided to help avoid problems with bleed-through. Not just simple line drawings, these sketches to color are made from photographs of the actual building, and retain some of the original details, shading and textures. Captions on the sketches help tell the story of this remarkable building, making it part storybook and part language lesson as well. The result is an enchanting coloring experience for older children and adults alike. We recommend this book for ages 8 and up, but we have found detail-oriented 6 and 7-year-olds enjoying this book when they thought no one was looking.

“Suze brings all the magnificence of this historic building to vivid life in miniature through her commitment to artistic excellence,” says Marybeth Adkins, whom Suze commissioned to photograph, design and illustrate the book. “The dolls in the miniature building were custom made from photographs of Lillian and Teddy and their dogs; and the Lillian and Teddy dolls are wearing reproductions of actual period costumes that they own and wear. The tiles on the terrace were hand made in Provence, and throughout the house there is that same level of attention given to every detail.”

Continuing, “I photographed her work and turned these images into drawings that children can add color to. Every facet of the chateau is available for children to splash with creativity – from the chandeliers and fireplaces through to a majestic horse stable. The building’s history is also explained in English and French, expanding young readers minds with a cultural education. In all, this was one very unique and prestigious project to be involved with.”

To date, the book has garnered a string of rave reviews. For example, K. Peper comments, “"Le Chateau Bidaine" is one of those gifts that will delight your own daughter as well as yourself. What makes this coloring book unique is not just the illustrations' beautiful detail, but the bi-lingual story that went into the making of this real Chateau.”

G. DiGregorio was equally impressed, adding, “I love Le Chateau Bidaine because it features both elements of old France and a taste of the French language as well, (I Love anything French) and detailed pictures to color which allows the use of all those colored pencils that seem to go to waste with virtually all coloring books. My grandchildren, ages 8 thru 12, loved the book as well.”

‘Le Chateau Bidaine’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1sKibXN. For more information on Perry-Hinkle and her work, visit: http://www.ruedesuze.com.

A gift pack is also available, featuring the book with a matching tote bag and pens: http://etsy.me/1g3YNmj.

Suze and Marybeth are currently working on coloring book #2, a tale of two Australian Cattle Dogs who meet and fall in love in Sausalito, and travel to Paris where they honeymoon in another one of Suze’s marvelous buildings.

About the Creators
Suze Perry-Hinkle lives high on a hill in northern California, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. She is an ardent Francophile and has created more than 30 miniature buildings over the past decade, which replicate the look of old Paris and are currently crowding her out of her home. But she can't stop, she's obsessed.

Marybeth Adkins is a northern California photographer and visual artist who has collaborated with Perry-Hinkle for several years. They met while working out at the chiropractor’s office, and are committed to mutual creative excesses for the foreseeable future.