Baby & Toddler Books
First Hundred Words in French is a delightful picture word book containing a basic vocabulary of a hundred words in French. Each double page shows a familiar scene with a row of pictures from the scene labeled in French and English. Spotting the pictures in the scenes helps young children learn the French words, and Stephen Cartwright’s illustrations are full of delightful and humorous detail to talk about. At the back of the book there is a French/English word list with a pronunciation guide.
School Age Books
Usborne’s First Thousand Word series is a fabulous way to get kids learning words in any language! In the French version, the large pictures, ideal for discussion starting points, are surrounded by small, labelled pictures of 1000 of the most familiar things, to develop and practice French vocabulary. There is also a detailed vocabulary list with pronunciation guide, as well as a Usborne Quicklinks website, which provides audio for all of the words, to aid correct pronunciation.
Bonsoir Lune / Goodnight Moon is the French translation of the childhood classic Goodnight Moon. This is a fabulous story to read to your little ones, especially if they are already familiar with the English version. A great way to practice your high school French as well!
Je t’aimerai toujours is the French translation of the classic book “Love Your Forever” by Robert Munsch. This is a particularly good book to get if your child is already familiar with the English version.
Barefoot Books is a wonderful company that produces unique, beautiful, bilingual books. Bear at Home (English/French) is an engaging tale that follows Bear upstairs and downstairs on a guided tour of his home: children see what he has and what he does in the different rooms. This bilingual edition includes vocabulary words in French and English and a captioned floor plan.
Max Et Le Maximonstres is the French version of Where the Wild Things Are. The French isn’t too complicated, so if you have even an intermediate knowledge of French, you should be able to read it to your child (or if they are slightly older and already have some fluency in the language, they may be able to read it themselves). It’s a great story in any language!
Bear in a Square/L’ours Dans Le Carre is another “Bear” book from Barefoot Books. This one follows bear on an outdoor adventure, identifying shapes and other fun items in both French and English. A beautiful little book.
From Ana Lomba’s award-winning language series, Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Book & CD) is a wonderful version of the classic story. Very suitable for young learners, the audio cd allows kids to listen to the story in French, helping with pronunciation and going over keywords (you can pop it in the CD player in the car!) This is also a good choice if the parents themselves aren’t familiar with French. The book itself is sturdily constructed, with cute illustrations and easy-to-read text.
Animals (English-French) is an animal-themed board book with bright photographs, ideal for teaching young children, or even older ones, common animal names in French.
Les Oeufs Verts au Jambon is the French edition of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. It can be hard to translate rhyming books into other languages, while maintaining the integrity of the story, but this version does it really well. A wonderful way to get kids interested in listening to stories in French.
Colors (English-French) is a nice, simple board book which teaches colors in both English and French. It can be used for older children learning basic French as well.
Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes (Book & CD) is a wonderful way to introduce young children to French, or to enrich the French they are already learning at home or at school. It comes with a beautifully illustrated book, with an accompanying CD, of songs, rhymes and other little activities to act out. This is a very popular set!
Internationally-renowned illustrator Quentin Blake’s Dix Grenouilles: A Book About Counting (or Ten Frogs) is a cute book to introduce numbers and counting in French (and English). Short and sweet.
La Petite Souris, La Belle Fraise Rouge, Et Le Gros Ours Affame is the French version of Audrey Wood’s beautifully illustrated story The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear”. A sweet story, with short, easy-to-read phrases that anyone with an intermediate knowledge of French should be able to handle. This is a great one to read to young children.