Learning About France
Here is the list of main books we used with children to learn about France.
Two reference books that are great for children. You can pick them up on your way as you travel to explore France, or they can be a great addition to your country basket, as you study France at home. Either way they will provide good overview of the country, brief history, traditions and peculiarities.
From review" Spotlight on France" introduces children to the country of France in Europe. France is famous for its beautiful countryside, its history of powerful rulers, and its exciting cities. France is also known for its delicious foods, fabulous fashions, and famous artists, such as Monet and Renoir. This informative book also looks at France's major holidays and celebrations and the favorite pastimes of children." I like the format of these series, children can use it as their own travel guide with just enough relevant information to spark their interest and get ideas for more things they would like to explore in this country.
If you are interested in traditions and celebrations of the country, I recommend the "Cultural Traditions of France". It is also an excellent book to pack in your suitcase and read along the way, so you will have an idea of what holidays to expect and what are the traditions French people celebrate.
The BEST book about history, cultural heritage, geography and wonders of France for young readers, the one that my children simply adore is "E is for Eiffel Tower: A France Alphabet". Dont let the name trick you, it is not an alphabet book 🙂 But authors cleverly arrange different fascinating facts about the country of France using the alphabet order. Each page has an easy version for very young world explorers, and an expanded version with facts, interesting even for adults. Highly recommend all the books from these series!
When we learn about countries, we like to learn about art and music of it. So as we were learning about France we focused on some of the artists who were born or were living in France. And of course about Impressionism, an art style that originated in France. Here are some of the books that we liked.
Absolutely charming book, which we enjoyed is called "Monet" from Brush with Greatness series... If you are to chose just one book, I will recommend it. It is a story, told by a young boy who happened to have encounters with Monet. Its BEAUTIFULLY illustrated with Monet's own art work incorporated in the story. It is really nice!
The other two books we red about Monet and Degas were these:
And we used this small book from Art World to introduce Impressionism to children. It is a good fit for the young children, written very simply, with large print for the young readers. It would be too basic for older children though.
The other book about Impressionism that I liked ( and it was a good fit for all my children both younger and older) is "A Look at Impressionist Art". Its thin, but beautifully illustrated book that children went back to again and again. It also a good jump start to studying individual masters of that period.
My budding engineers also wanted to learn about Eiffel Tower. This is the book we found with some good background history and engineering details ( exactly what they were after!)
When learning about other countries, we like looking up some local fairy tales or children stories. It really does give us a little peak in the world of children of that country 🙂 The one we plan to read this time is " A story of the Tooth Mouse" -- French version of the tooth fairy.
Our Children also using French course for Little Reader successfully and we really like it. Each session is just 5-6 minutes ( or you can customize it to be shorter or longer), so it makes it really doable for us. Spaced repetition helps them to review their words and phrases in playful way, and what I like about it, it is based on the principle of total immersion. (Check it out here, free for two weeks, and if you decide to get it, use code BKAFF13608 for additional 10% discount)