Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thinking Thursdays: Books about France

Hello!  Things have been a little quieter on the blog since we got back, as I've been wrestling with mountains of laundry from the trip (its amazing how much stuff piles up after 2.5 weeks!).  The baby has been driving us crazy, as he's been taking forever to go down for naps.  Anyway, am popping by to share the books we read about France.  Perhaps its because its such a beautiful country, or maybe its because its capital is such an iconic city.  Whatever the case, there seems to be a lot more kid lit about France compared to most European countries.  Oddly enough, while there are loads of pretty books written in English, the French children's books seem to prefer more grown-up themes (you can see some of the more scary ones here).  We have a whole pile of recommendations (I had to split it into two posts!), so here goes:

:: If you want to wander about Paris: Try "Adele and Simon", a story about a little boy in Paris, who keeps losing things as he and his older sister walk home after school.  The illustrations are gorgeous and  detailed (try spotting the things Simon loses on each page for some extra fun), and their route through Paris consist of actual locations, which are indicated on a map on the reverse side of the book covers (you can see the map from the photo at the top of the post).

You could also read "This is Paris", another classic by Sasek, to gain little tidbits about various monuments and aspects of the City of Light.  Sasek may be a little dry though, so for younger kids, try "Madeline" as well as the other stories on the little girl (we read through "Mad about Madeline" which is a compilation of 6 stories).

:: If you'd rather trek across France:

Read "The Cat Who Walked Across France", a tale of a cat who walks across France in an attempt to find his home.  Its a heartwarming story, and brings you from Rouen (with the famous cathedral which Monet painted), across France, to the coast.

:: If you want to explore a bit of history:  Try "The Glorious Flight", which recounts Louis Bleriot's flight across the English Channel.  Or "Mirette on the High Wire", a story of a girl and the wire-walker, Bellini.  Both are amazing stories to teach the power of perseverance, and are set in France.

:: If you want something more light-hearted and fun:  Go and guess along with Moon, in "Ollie and Moon", as they romp through Paris to find the surprise that Ollie has prepared.  What's round and has fur and feathers and is bright with lights?  Read the book to find out!  This book combines illustrations with actual photographs of various Paris scenes, and Junior J enjoyed this book enormously.

Another fun book would be "Crictor".  Its set in France, but you don't really see much of the country here.  However, the simple tale of a lady and her brave pet snake brought a smile to my face, and Junior J loved the story!

Stay tuned for another book list for France tomorrow... But before you go, we have an brand new copy of "Crictor" to give away!  To enter, you just need to do BOTH these steps:

1. Like the blog's Facebook page if you have not done so.
2. Leave a comment on this post, sharing the title of your favourite children book.  If you do not have a blogger account, please do leave your name in your comment!

Giveaway closes 30th Sept.  Do note that this giveaway is only open to those residing in Singapore.  All the best!


Update: Thank you for sharing your favourite children books, we're looking forward to exploring some of the titles you've shared! We've drawn our giveaway winner:

Marcia, you're going to be receiving a copy of Crictor... please drop us an email at john(dot)jus(at) with your mailing details!


  1. Hi, our favourite is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. We started reading it to our boy when he was a few months old till now, it is a book in his 'library'!

  2. We have many faves! Current fav bk is Perfect Square by Michael Hall :)

  3. One of Dot's favourtie books is "The Gruffalo". We had our favourite book list too at

  4. Our favorite book is Tell me about the Farm, published by Ladybird Books Ltd.

  5. 1. Liked
    2. My fave children's book is from the Famous Five series actually ;p

    thanks for hosting the giveaway! :)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  6. My boy's favourite is African folklore by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway which I have written here Basically, he loves all books with animals on it.

  7. Author Lois Ehlert ! Fav books includes - plAnting a rainbow , color farm! Her books r colorful. Nature inspired - Marcia too mother to Twinkie twins

  8. Liked your page :)
    My children's favorite book is the secret birthday message by Eric carle :)

  9. Our current favourite is Rainbow Fish. Winnie Lam

  10. Liked!
    My favourite children book is "Crazy Hair" by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean.

  11. Liked.
    My daughter's current favourites are "Goldilocks and Just the One Bear" and "Grandma joins the All Blacks". A bit of an odd combination, really.

  12. My girl's favorite is "We're going for a bear hunt"
    My favorite is "Stranger in the Woods" by Sams, Carl R.

    Lilium D

  13. We like 'Where the Wild Things are' by Max Wanger.

    Love the books you have been recommending!

  14. My boy's favourite is The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers.

  15. Have "Liked" and our current fav book is still Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. Thank you for hosting the giveaway and good luck to all.
    Linda Wong

  16. Our favourite children's book so far has to be Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik!
    : ) Daphne Yong

  17. Emily Gravett's books! They are all good! Such as The Odd Egg :)
    Florence Chia

  18. A current favourite is Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox.

  19. Hi! I've liked your fb long ago :)
    Nic n I have so many favourites as there are so many lovely authors out there! I will just use this opp to share some here. We love 'I'm a little teapot' by Iza Trapani. It describes the dream-adventures of a teapot to some parts of the world which he shares with two children. Using the tune of 'I'm a little teapot', Trapani extends the nusery rhymes with her own rhyme verses that you can readd. and sing along with your child.With such fun element n cute painted illustrations,your child will pick up new vocabulary easily too. Other must-reads by her include 'here we go round the mulberry bush', 'row row your boat', 'how much is that doggie at the window'. Have fun reading!



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