Paris-Orly Book Prize 2021: Un marcassin dans l’espace

The Paris-Orly Book Prize 2021 was announced on 4 June 2021. The jury made up of local children awarded Anne Schmauch and Claire Bertholet for their book Un marcassin dans l’espace (A Little Boar in Space), published by Rageot. Interview with the two winning authors.

2040, Planet Earth. A mysterious spacecraft crashes near Gaspard and Alice’s house. It belongs to Pixel, the little boar from space! He must hurry to save his master Linus and his planet Geek, which are being held prisoner by the supercomputer The Brain. The kids join Pixel on board an interstellar truck and journey across the galaxy… And so the adventure begins. 

Un marcassin dans l’espace
By Anne Schmauch and Claire Bertholet
Illustrations by Loïc Méhée
Publication date: 20/02/2019
Éditions Rageot

What is the story behind the creation of this book?

Claire Bertholet and Anne Schmauch – It was about friendship and the desire to experiment. Experimenting with a kind of four-handed writing, which is a bit peculiar for authors who are used to working alone. And experimenting with a genre: science fiction. But we did have a common language: comedy!

What is your earliest memory at the airport?

C.B.: Since I’ve never lived in the Paris region, I have no real memory of Paris-Orly Airport. But that doesn’t stop me from having a fictional memory of it, thanks to the closing scene in Yves Robert’s film Nous irons tous au paradis.

A.S.: I was very young and came to send off an aunt who was travelling to the other side of the world. I remember thinking the airplane windows were so tiny. 

How did you react when you heard you won the Paris-Orly Book Prize 2021

C.B. and A.S.: Being part of the Paris-Orly Book Prize 2021 was a thrill. We are so happy that our little boar’s flying saucer has landed among the airplanes for a year. And we’re even happier that our book won the award.

What made the biggest impression on you when meeting the students from the partner schools?

A.S.: I was struck by the sheer enthusiasm with which the young readers welcomed me into their classroom and how easily they agreed to embark on this journey into space! 

C.B.: I was lucky to interact with two classes and both times the children were engaged and passionate in our discussions. But what struck me the most was how much they all liked our book.

About the Paris-Orly Book Prize 2021


Since 2014, the Paris-Orly Book Prize has been awarded to an author of children’s literature whose work deals with the theme of travel. Established by the Paris-Orly Environmental Resource Centre, this prize helps to forge bonds with schools near the airport. In 2021, nine classes of elementary school students voted for their favourite book after working on the selected books for several months and meeting their authors.