It is no surprise to anyone who knows me well (or perhaps who barely knows me at all) that I adore Paris. It began in second grade when I first started to learn French, and coincidentally, met a young man who had just returned from his Junior Year Abroad.
At the age of eight I knew I would one day visit Paris for myself. To date, I have had the privilege to travel to my favorite city no less than four times:
- as a junior in high school in 1977
- as a tour leader-in-training in 2006
- as a Parisian wannabe in 2011
- …and most recently as a group tour leader in 2015.
With each visit I learn to love something new about the city – and I will always long to return, just one more time.
I hope to instill this love of travel – and Paris specifically – in my granddaughter. And what better way than through books.
Of course, there is the Madeline series. When I visited Paris in 2011, my granddaughter was only three months old, but I couldn’t resist buying this delightful classic in the original language. We also own the English version, a remnant from my youngest’s childhood library, so the story is familiar even if the language is not.
The pictures take precedent now – but some day I will read aloud the story in French, and share not only my love of the county, but its speech as well.
Recently I came across another picture book that tells a sweet story within a Parisian setting: Madame Martine by Sarah Brannen.
Madame Martine lives alone in the 7eme arrondissement, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. She is rather set in her ways and enjoys the same weekly routine: shopping each day for a specific item at the Rue Cler market. Hmmm….I do believe I could be Mme Martine…
She rescues a lost puppy, Max, who teaches her a little spontaneous adventure can be good for the soul.
I am excited to learn there is a second book in the series, Madame Martine Breaks the Rules, which is scheduled to be released in September. This adventure will take her to the Louvre – c’est magnifique!
I discovered a few more picture books that beautifully illustrate the City of Lights, but I have not yet had time to read them. Perhaps you will enjoy checking them out yourself:
- Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty
- Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear
- Bon Appetit: the Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jesse Hartland
- A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna
- Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Traveling Girl by Micah Player – an adorable ABC book that I think I need to add to my personal library for future grand-travellers.
Do you know of any other Parisian books I could set aside to read with my four-year-old granddaughter?
* This post is a part of the Paris-in-July meme, hosted by Tamara of Thyme-for-Tea. Please visit her website for links to more French-inspired posts.