Ever since the boys were little, story time has been a big part of our routine- whether it be us reading to them, or them reading independently. We often have books lying around to try and encourage them to pick them up, have a flick, even if they’re just picture books.
We spend EVERY summer in France, and while I have a small understanding of French (basic, very basic!), I’d love the boys to grow up learning the language and building on that every year. Harry is currently learning French at school so he’s beginning to pick up essential key words.
We recently got sent this fantastic French Language story book called ‘Tonton Makes Friends’, written by Heidi Rivolta. Tonton is a kind tortoise who visits the park and makes some friends during his time in the playground. It is a very thought out simple story which is clear in its message through dialogue and fun illustrations. The words and phrases are easy to use and understand and fundamentally are a useful language for beginners to learn the basics.
Harry felt quite grown up reading this story book to his brother. The French words are very clear and in a bolder and bigger text to the English translation. But as well as picking up the repetition instantly, he also thoroughly enjoyed the animated illustrations! Repetition is key in any child’s book because it consolidates learning and helps absorption. At the end of the story in the back of the book is a brilliant ‘what have you learnt’ worksheet, where your child can fill out some of the characters’ names- giving them an opportunity to reinforce what they’ve learnt from the story.
This is Heidi’s first book of the series so hopefully many more to come. Parents who feel nervous about their own French language can access ‘Bonjour Tonton’ on YouTube for some tips and help on Phonetics, translation, pronunciation and much more. Also, for anyone who purchases a book, you get a FREE download of 16 French Nursery Rhymes- how fab is that?!
Visit www.bonjourtonton.co.uk to follow the adventures of Tonton the tortoise and together we can develop our children’s understanding of the French language.
by Laura xx