By Sarah Dodson-Knight
Photo credit: rick
According to language acquisition specialists like Stephen Krashen, the best way to learn new vocabulary and grammatical structures is not through direct instruction but rather via books. So if you want your children to be able to communicate successfully about their family and their friends and what they do together on a daily basis, read them lots and lots of books on the topic!
Welcome to part Three of Friends, Family, and Français: Literacy (Recommended Reading). In this post, we’ll explore books (in French) about love between parents and children, about siblings, and about friendship. In two weeks, we’ll continue this article with literacy activities that you can do with your children to discuss, read, and write about friends and family in the target language (French, English, or any other!).
In “Family, Friends, and Français,” we’ll explore the following:
- Relevant Vocabulary (Introduction);
- Music, Rhythm, and Rhyme (Part One);
- Art and Drama (Part Two);
- Literacy – Recommended Reading (Part Three – this post);
- Literacy – Activities (Part Four);
- and Tactile and Kinesthetic Activities (Part Five).
Join us on this romp through the French family tree! A new article will appear on Multilingual Living every two weeks.
Books about love between parents and children
Caillou: Ma maman à moi by Hélène Desputeaux: From the series (in French and in English) about the bald child Caillou. In this board book, Caillou tells us about what he likes to do with his mother. See also Caillou: Mon papa à moi and Caillou: Comme papa, in which Caillou tries imitate the activities that his father does, even though he’s too little to do them all.
De tout mon cœur by Jean-Baptiste Baronian: A sweet story of a young polar bear who interrogates his friends (other Arctic animals) about how their parents show them that they love them.
Devine combien je t’aime by Sam McBratney: A translation of the modern classic Guess How Much I Love You, in which a young hare and his mother demonstrate the boundless nature of their love. Easily available in the US.
J’aime mon papa by Marie-Pierre Emorine and Karine Quesada: An exploration of what fathers around the world do with their children, lushly illustrated. Especially recommended for its rhymes, its evocative illustrations, and the fact that it focuses on people, not animals, like so many others on this list.
Je t’aimerai toujours by Robert Munsch: This moving story, Love You Forever, about a mother’s love for her son even when he’s a grown man, always brings tears to my eyes whether I read the original in English or the French translation. Easily available in the US.
La boîte à bisous by Jo Hoestlandt: A brother and sister, struggling to figure out what to give their parents as an anniversary present, decide to fill a box with kisses for them, “plein plein plein. Tellement plein qu’à la fin, ils on du mal à refermer la boîte.”
L’alphabet de la famille by Marianne Dupuy-Sauze: An alphabet book where each letter represents an object, person, or activity from daily family life.
L’arbre généreux by Shel Silverstein: A translation of the classic picture book The Giving Tree in which a tree represents a mother’s boundless love for her often clueless son. Easily available in the US.
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