Roman’s (Captain No Beard: Strangers on the High Seas, 2013, etc.) latest children’s book offers an introduction to French culture that highlights similarities in the lives of American and French children.
This second book in the author’s If You Were Me and Lived in… series focuses on France and its history, culture and language. The book is geared toward elementary school age children, and, as such, explores French life through a child’s eyes. Each page addresses the reader as “you,” aiming to create a connection between the reader and the narrator, a French child. The book begins with a map of France, pointing out its location in Western Europe, and then gives readers a tour of the country. Kids learn why Paris is called the “City of Light,” what they would call their parents in French, and what the French word for “school” is. The narrator also asks questions such as, “If your parents bought bread in a boulangerie, they would pay in euros. What else do you think they would have in a boulangerie?”—an ideal jumping-off point for a classroom unit on France. The book also covers French food, sports, holidays, toys and other aspects of the culture and helps American kids make comparisons and connections by, for example, likening hazelnut spread to peanut butter. Roman is also the author of the charming Captain No Beard series, and her approachable writing style succeeds here as well. Although the book’s premise is simple, the author ably explains cultural similarities and differences, and the colorful illustrations help keep things light. The book also includes a pronunciation guide to help kids sound out French names and nouns.
A book that engagingly helps young Americans see what they share in common with French children.