Ten years ago I was searching for a birthday present for my nephew who was turning seven, and I stumbled across The Three Questions. In this children's book, author Jon Muth reshapes one of Leo Tolstoy's stories into a fable about a boy seeking answers to three questions: What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? In helping a few animals, he discovers the answers:Read More
A few months before my first child was born, I thought two nurses had given me the ticket to a good nights' sleep after baby's arrival. I'd read their book (complete with a DVD demonstrating how to swaddle); it advocated letting your baby cry for two nights so that he or she would learn to sleep through the night by the third night. This technique--commonly known as cry it out or CIO--seemed to me a bit harsh but necessary, like vaccines, so I considered it good advice.
Then I became a parent.Read More
If you've ever searched eBay for children's books in French, you have probably come across titles listed by Marygoldbooks. Marie Gervais is the seller behind that handle, and she's been selling children's books in French on eBay since 2002. She's sold over 6,000 items and yet she has virtually perfect feedback ratings from buyers. Want to know where she finds all those French books? Keep reading--here's my interview with Marie in English along with her French responses:Read More
In high school French class I was taught that Easter is a plural noun in French (les Pâques) to help distinguish it from Passover (la paques)--the Jewish commemoration of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. My French class was the first place I heard about the connection between Passover and Easter. Now, as an adult, I understand more clearly that the Last Supper was when Christ was partaking of the Passover feast with his disciples.Read More
Bonjour les amis! I've missed you! Je m'excuse--I'm sorry I didn't write more last month. I've been planning our summer séjour in France, with a 5-day stopover in another country on the way (any guesses as to which country? I'll give you a few hints as our departure approaches!).
Today is le premier avril (April 1st). In France and some francophone countries (as well as Italy), today is known as April fish day because children try to tape paper fish on the backs of unsuspecting people. When their prank is discovered, they cry, "Poisson d'avril!" (April fish!) If you'd like to know more about April Fool's Day in France, Geraldine from Comme Une Française has made a brief video in English about it:Read More
In July 1999, an American mama named Rebecca Ramsey moved to France with her husband, baby, seven-year-old boy, nine-year-old daughter, and their aging cat. Her family stayed in the Auvergne for four years, and I'm grateful that she later crafted her family's experiences into a humorous and endearing memoir entitled French By Heart (published in 2007). After all, there are plenty of memoirs about expat life in France, but few of them reflect the experience of an American family with young children truly attempting to assimilate into French life over the course of several years.Read More
Ten years have passed since I was an exchange student in France; seven years since my husband and I last traveled there. Now I'm planning our first visit to France as a family--an extended trip this summer through autumn. We'll start in Paris as tourists, stay with friends in the countryside, and finish in Lyon as inhabitants while my daughter begins school alongside other young francophones.Read More