A little mouse walks into the Lost & Found, but can only speak French. How will Mr and Mrs Frog figure out what the mouse is missing…? Aimed at children aged 2-7, the unique ‘Story-powered language learning method’ combines humour, story and emotion to gently and memorably introduce kids to more than forty simple and sometimes surprising French words and phrases. “The kids were so busy laughing they didn’t realise they were learning.” Kyle Buchannan, Dad of two, London. It’s a bilingual children’s book with a difference, that helps lay the foundations of a love of languages.
Available in 30 languages, including Spanish, German, Italian, Tagalog, Korean. www.neuwestendpress.com
My boys and I had a fun time reading about the little French mouse. I studied French in High School but that was the extent of it. It was fun to revisit the language and introduce my boys to how it sounds. However, with no pronunciation prompts, I had to take my best guess and never knew if I got it quite right. This does leave the book with a “cleaner” feel and not jumbled with markings. There is a list of the French words at the end of the book with their English definitions. After we read the book my boys enjoyed incorporating some of the French words into their play and communication with their dad. And that’s what we want as we teach our children a new language, for them to speak it. Definitely a fun little story that keeps you wondering what comes next.
Mark Pallis is a lifelong lover of language. He published his first book while training as a lawyer. Mark switched to the creative sector and devised the award winning BBC TV drama Garrow’s Law and served as Story Editor over its four series. Since then, Mark built up 15 years’ experience in communication and storytelling, including as Creative Director of a busy London ad agency, writing episodes for the Daytime Emmy winning Tales of Peter Rabbit and sitting on the Executive Committee of the Children’s Media Foundation. He is represented by the BKS Agency. His bestselling children’s book ‘Crab and Whale’ has been translated into five languages.
Peter Baynton is an animator, director and illustrator based in London. He is the Animation Director of the UK’s Channel 4’s new 2019 Christmas film, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, adapted from Judith Kerr’s classic book. He has been directing short films, music videos and commercials for twelve years, picking up over 25 awards at film festivals around the world along the way. He has also worked as a storyboard artist on the BAFTA winning CBeebies show Sarah & Duck, and in 2017 was the 2D Animation Director for Paddington 2.
There is a special magic about learning words in another language and using them: I truly think it warms the heart. Personally, I love to laugh and have learnt jokes or songs in ten languages so far - it’s brought me so much joy.
This french book for children is first and foremost a really enjoyable story, but it’s also my way of helping the littlest learners engage with a foreign language, empathise with strangers and ultimately build a love of languages. And it happens without them realising it. Any parent who has ever tried to smuggle some vegetables into their child’s pasta sauce will know that you can get a lot of good stuff into things without kids realising and this book is the same. I want you and the child to have fun together with the story: the learning is an added bonus - the icing on the cake (or the extra veg in the sauce!!).
The possibility that after a few reads, kids will be able to go up to a native speaker and tell them in their own language: ‘J’ai perdu mon chapeau,’ fills me with excitement. Imagine the reaction! Think of how proud the child will feel. And how proud you’ll feel too!
So whether you come to bilingual books for kids just for the fun of it, or because your family has a deliciously mixed international heritage like mine, the simple fact of engaging with another language is going to an enriching experience for everyone.
Thanks for reading this and I hope you find this book as fun to read as it was to write.