This is a question I get asked a lot. Where can I get French children’s books?
Sharing a French book with your little one is one of the best ways you can keep up the language at home.
That said, I find French books expensive. My children and I have built up our collection over nearly a decade! I always make sure to pop into any beautiful bookshops I pass in France (two of my faves are Gibert Joseph in Versailles and Librairie l’Armitière in Rouen), I scour flea markets and I always pick some up in supermarkets where I find the prices are more affordable (but still generally more than in the UK).
You do get some UK books with French, “My First 100 Words in French” and the like, but I think stories are more powerful as it is not a ‘memorising’ exercise. Whereas with stories, the words are used in context which is a more powerful way to acquire new words.
Those of you who come to my classes will know that I try to bring second-hand books for purchase when I can if I have found some in a market over the holidays.
But if you can’t get to France or know someone who can pick some up in Carrefour (supermarket) for you when they are on holiday?
My pick of the top 6 French children’s books available on Amazon
Here are some available on Amazon which I know and like that you may want to buy or perhaps add to your little one’s Christmas/ birthday list:
- Toutes les couleurs by Alex Sanders Paperback – 24 May 2001 click here
A simple, cute story that I have been reading to my children for years. Little rabbit gets up to a few things which causes him to get covered in lots of different colours. Learn colours and also some other helpful words including body parts. Easy to read even if you have limited French yourself as aimed at toddlers.
- La Chenille Qui Fait Des Trous by Eric Carle Board book – 07 October 2004 click here
If you fancy one which you already know in English then I would recommend The Hungry Caterpillar. For some reason, they translate it as The Caterpillar That Made Holes for info! Beginners wont know all the French words but you will probably have the English version at home so can use it as a cheat sheet 🙂
- Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson – 29th October 2013 click here
On a similar note what about the Gruffalo in French! I actually haven’t read it so am buying it now! My guess is this will be challenging for those with minimal French but give it a go!
- Pop Mange De Toutes Les Couleurs by Pierrick Bisinski Paperback – 21 Nov 2008 click here
Back to toddler friendly books. I like the pop books as the illustrations are a treat for the eyes with lots of bright bold colours. In this installment the friendly dinosaur Pop eats lots of colourful food! One thing to watch, the text is in French handwriting, which for us Brits can take a bit of getting used to.
- Pourquoi? by Alex Sanders Paperback – 6 Jun 2003 click here
Another Petit Lapin early years French book by Alex Sanders. Again this is a simple tale with body parts where little rabbit is asking why do we have ears? Why do we have eyes?… Then there is a little twist at the end. My children like these books.
If you would like any more suggestions or want to get in touch about the above! Please do! firstname.lastname@example.org