Thursday, June 2, 2016

Paris France Books for Kids

Finding great books to read the boys in preparation for our trip to France this summer has been more challenging than it was to find books about London England last year.  Perhaps literature is lost in translation here but we have had some hits and misses.  Picture books have been more of a hit than the literature we have tried.

Our favourite so far has been:  A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino.

It was current and the illustrations are detailed.  There is a great sense of the city conveyed in terms of culture and scale.

This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek was published in 1959 and the book has a quaint and retro vibe.  It presents the city as it was in the 50's (with a few asterisks with updates at the back in the new version) so it may mislead kids slightly but that can help them to understand the effects of time on a place.

We read this adaptation of the Humpback of Notre Dame which was not great.  I have not read Victor Hugo's full version but I can't say that I am interested in reading it after the adaptation.  My 8 year old found the story boring and it was way over my 5 year old's head.  I found little to grasp on to myself as the story is too brutal and fatalistic by far.
And we are a few chapters into and adaptation of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.  I'm enjoying this one more but the language is lofty for the younger set.  I think it may be more suitable for pre-teens and teens.

We are travelling to Normandy and visiting the Canadian D-Day beach during our northern leg of the trip. D-Day Landings: The Story of the Allied Invasion by Richard Platt is an introduction for the boys, helping them to understand the role of the soldiers and the planners of the allied invasion.  I hesitate to talk about war to them, but history has many sides. One of their great grandfathers landed on Juno beach so it is part of our familial history as well.

We read The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt in the past and will be visiting Giverny and I recommend it for anyone wanting to impart the magic of his garden.  The story sets up a wonderful contrast between metropolitan Paris and Monet's rural oasis.

I will share another post with some adult book recommendations before we leave.  I am currently reading at a break neck pace with no end in sight.  As novels and non-fiction about France and Paris are abundant.   My Goodreads list only scratches the surface of what is available.

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