As summer break is around the corner for many kids, it’s time to get ready to keep them busy while practicing their reading and comprehension skills in French! To make it easier for you, we have asked Matthieu Eveillard, librarian and French teacher at La librairie des Enfants, to suggest few ideas of books for all ages in order to dream, laugh or learn all summer long.
1- Luna Parc en pyjamarama, by Frédérique Bertrand & Michaël Leblond (age 4+)
This animated book is one of our bestsellers: using the technique of “Ombro Cinema”, it makes you bring the pictures to life with your fingers; we bet all children will find it amazing! Discover this technique of animation here.
This title is actually the third adventure of this little boy: after travelling to New York and Paris, still in his pyjamas, his dreams take him to the famous amusement area of Coney Island and all its wonderful rides…
2- Chien pourri à la ferme, by Colas Gutman & Marc Boutavant (Age 7+)
Your young readers may love this series of short novels that have already become a huge success in France.
Name : Chien Pourri. Perfume : smelly fish. Special feature : fur looking like an old carpet, and carrying a world of fleas.
Is he smart ? as much as he is good-looking! But one day, Chien Pourri decides to leave and find a nice pet-owner to feed him sweets and play all day…
3- Journal d’une Peste, by Virginy Sam & Marie-Anne Abesdris (Age 10+)
Another series of novels that preteens girls should love: in her diary, Fannette explains how, at school and at home, she hates to do what is expected, so boring… So she is just following her feelings and doing whatever she wants. Her confidants will discover all her secrets and tips to succeed in her purpose, and be kindly asked to join the Pests’ Sisterhood…
4- Les contes de l’olivier : Contes juifs et arabes réunis, by Catherine Gendrin & Judith Gueyfier (Age 10+)
Eighteen tales from the Mediterranean area (Algeria, Spain, Palestine, Syria and Europe) to illustrate the values of Peace and Fraternity using traditional Jewish and Arabic literature from Maghreb and Middle-East.
5- Collection Enfance en Poésie, Gallimard Jeunesse (5 to 13 years old)
The purpose of this book series is to help your children discover and to share with them the treasures of French poetry. Through well-chosen and thoughtful illustrations, get to know Paul Eluard, Jacques Prévert, Paul Claudel, Jean Tardieu, Edmond Jabes, Georges Jean, Maurice Carême… and – who knows?- encourage some vocation!
6- Raymond. Ah, les parents ! by Romain Gadiou & Sébastien Tiquet (graphic novel for age 7+)
Cheeky and chubby Raymond shares his dreams, disappointments and complex relationship with his parents. Definitely not easy to understand their world when you are 9 years old…
7-Chouette! by Léna Mazilu (Age 2+)
This “augmented reality” book is part of the series “Histoires animées” (animated stories) and can either be read as a traditional picture book, or brought to life through a free dedicated app on your smartphone or tablet.
8- The Zazoo: Adventures at the beach – À la mer, Ornicar (Age 3+)
Each of these beautiful bilingual picture books comes with an audiobook (to download), as well as a comprehensive activity book and a guide for parents. A great way to start learning French, English or Spanish.
9- Flipbook: Eiffel Tower, Paris a flip-book by Olivier Gautier (Age 4+)
This “little animated history of…” Eiffel Tower would be a perfect present for a curious little child interested in architecture. In this bilingual flipbook, discover many stories related to how our famous Parisian monument has been built.
10- Ils sont forts ces Français / The Fantastic French, Bonhomme de Chemin (Age 6+)
Meet our French celebrities, from Coco Chanel to Voltaire through Victor Hugo, Catherine Deneuve, Claude Monet and Gustave Eiffel, while having fun! Learn further about French culture, history, literature, arts… and enjoy various illustrations.
Have you made your choice? Not yet? Do not hesitate to visit La Librairie des enfants to find these books, many others, as well as a selection of French games! The bookshop has a partnership with several French publishing houses, and you are always welcome to ask for advice or to have one particular book ordered for you.
Furthermore, take the opportunity to immerse your children in the French language with “Les petites histoires”, offering daily sessions for children of all age, focused on a thematic reading, music, art and crafts….. Musical and artistic workshops are also organized on a regular basis, for example the Summer Art classes from May 22. to August 18. More information online or on facebook. And you can even ask Lynda or Matthieu to have your child’s birthday party organized on the premises.
The book lovers will also be delighted to enroll for the library, with more than 3 000 titles available to borrow for kids and for adults.
And for the parents who want to relax after work while improving their conversational French, come to French Evenings @La librairie des enfants, and discuss the latest hot topics in the French news, politics and culture. There is also an adult French for Beginners class starting very soon : don’t miss it!
For more information, check out their website or call the bookstore at 646 590 2797.
Let’s meet at La Librairie des Enfants, 163 East 92nd Street, NY 10128.