15 French children’s books for your little Francophile

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It is never too early to expose a child to the French language, because the younger they are, the easier it is for them to learn it alongside their mother tongue. One way to do this is to use French children’s books. Whether they specifically teach language or just stories written in French, books can be wonderful learning tools.

I was in sixth grade when I enrolled in French classes, and I was in third year undergrad when I took two semesters of Spanish. Now, as an adult, most of what I remember from each language are words that are very similar in sound and meaning to English words. However, my four-year-old daughter regularly comes home from school and enthusiastically shares new words, songs and phrases she has learned in different languages. She is able to retain so much at her age, which is why I always try to expose her to different Spanish and French children’s books so she can continue to build those skills and not lose them like me.

If you are trying to do the same with your child(ren) with the French language, you are in luck because there are many fantastic children’s books in French that can help you. You can teach your little one the basics in English and French at the same time, get the French version of one of your child’s favorite stories to change things up, or get something completely new that will challenge them. as he continues to build his skills. Here are a few to consider.

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1

Mr & Mrs Books

Lots of “Mrs.” and the famous “Little Miss” books in the United States are also available in French. The “Madame” series includes French versions of Little Miss Bossy, Little Miss Tidy, Little Miss Luckyand this one, Little Miss Quickamong many others.

2

“Good Night Anne”

This sweet story follows Anne in her dream as she says good night to all the things and people she loves. Her dream takes her on fun adventures that little readers will love, and since it’s written in French, they’ll also learn more about the language.

3

“Like a Million Black Butterflies”

Adé is a curious little girl who has beautiful curly black hair that gets her a lot of attention at school (and not always the right one). In this story, Adé learns more about her hair from her mother and aunts and comes to love how it sets her apart.

4

“How to speak French for children”

If you are working on introducing the French language to your children, try this simple book. It’s full of easy words and pictures to help young children master the basics of the language.

5

“The Beautiful Smooth Pear Of The Prince Of Motordu”

“La Belle Poire Lisse du Prince de Motordu” translates to “The Beautifully Smooth Pear of the Prince of Motordu” and it’s a great book for kids who already have a basic understanding of the French language. Throughout the story, he uses words that see similar but with very different meanings, so readers are tasked with determining whether what the prince is saying is correct or wrong.

6

“Good evening Moon”

If your little one has already memorized every page of “Goodnight Moon” in English, switch things up with the French version. The story is the same, which can make it easier for your child to understand certain French words.

seven

“Red hair”

“Poil de Garotte” is about a little red-haired boy whose parents are mean, so he always goes on adventures and tries to outsmart them along the way. The book was written in 1864, but it continues to be loved by older children today.

8

“Five Happy Rabbits”

The title of this book translates to “Five Little Rabbits” and is perfect for little kids learning to count in French. It has a singing rhyme style similar to “Five Little Monkeys”, and the illustrations are just adorable.

9

“Learning French for children”

Written specifically for toddlers and preschoolers, this book teaches English and French words for everyday objects. Children will learn the names of colors, the alphabet, body parts, animals and more.

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“Peppa Pig: Peppa Plays Soccer”

Peppa fans will enjoy this book about a football game between boys and girls. It features some of the wonderful “Peppa Pig” characters they already know and love, making it easy for them to read the book (and practice their French).

11

Series “Little Nicolas”

A great option for kids who already have a good grasp of the French language, this series follows Nicolas, a little boy leading a very happy life. These books are particularly good for building French reading/speaking skills as they are written in everyday language, since the narrator is a child.

12

“Guili Rabbit”

In English, “Guili Lapin” translates to “Knuffle Bunny”, which tells the story of a child named Trixie who goes on an adventure with her father to the laundromat and, after returning home, realizes that her rabbit has been misplaced. So obviously a rescue mission is in order. It’s such a cute story whether it’s told in French or English.

13

“The little Prince”

“The Little Prince” (or “The Little Prince”) has been a beloved children’s book for decades. With this book, children can read the story and fall in love with the French language at the same time.

14

“French ABC”

Young children learning their letters can be exposed to the French language while they are there. This picture book is full of beautiful illustrations that correspond to a letter of the alphabet as well as the French word for the picture (like “le lion” for “L”).

15

“Jada’s Path”

This book is written in French and follows a pair of sisters who have different skin tones, even though they are twins. One sister has darker skin while the other is lighter, and it takes them a game of hide and seek to understand and embrace their own unique beauty.

Now that you have all these fantastic options, get moving. Remember that the earlier you expose your toddlers to the French language, the more they will retain what they have learned. Plus, the sooner they can speak French, the sooner you can take a family vacation in Paris.

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