In honor of Bastille Day, I thought I'd share some books with a French theme. I was hoping to get this up earlier, but we had a bit of an internet outage. Anyways, Kate Banks is an award-winning American author who lives in the South of France. She has collaborated with French illustrator Georg Hallensleben on a number of children's books. Not all of the books we checked out appealed to Jonathan (at age 2 1/2), but they are nonetheless beautiful books that older children would enjoy.
This book is what started our adventure reading Kate Banks' books as it appeared on a list of recommended books for toddlers. It is a sweet, somewhat philosophic book about a baby baboon's first experiences in the world. Throughout the baby baboon's day, he comes across different sensory experiences: green forest, slow turtles, hot fires and tries to understand the world around him. As he settles down to sleep, he realizes that the world is big. Hallensleben's impressionist-style illustrations are beautiful and dreamlike and show the warm, caring relationship the little baboon has with its mother. It's a beautiful book that toddlers and preschoolers can relate to as they also are experiencing and trying to make sense of the world around them. Jonathan liked this book and it (usually) grasped his attention.
The Cat Who Walked Across France
This is a book that I think will grow on Jonathan as he gets older. It's a story about a cat whose owner dies. The cat moves from his stone house by the edge of the (Mediterranean) sea to northern France where he is forgotten about. So the cat begins his journey home, traveling through cities, countryside and mountains as he heads back to his home by the sea. Famous French landmarks grace Hallensleben's beautiful pictures as the cat makes his journey. There's a map of France on the back of the book which traces the cat's travels. Jonathan enjoyed the book when I had him involved in trying to find the cat on each page, as well as naming items that the cat sees on the journey (boats, cars, bicycles, etc.). It's a beautiful book, and I think it's one that we'll come back to in a few years.
I'm linking this up to Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Check out this link-up for more wonderful children's book ideas!