Bilingual children’s books R Us
For those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or who are frequent readers of this blog, you’ll know that I gave myself a fairly massive challenge this year. One element was to set up a food blog, and in February Hubs and I launched Franglaise Cooking. Another part of the challenge was to write my first bilingual children’s book.
But not content with writing just one bilingual children’s book, I’ve started a whole series of them called “The Adventures of Elodie / Les Aventures d’Elodie“. And I’m delighted to announce that the first book in the series, “Elodie and the Pirates / Elodie et les Pirates” is now available to buy:
- as an e-book (Kindle/PDF/EPUB) via our own website, Elodie Publications.
- as a traditional paper book or Kindle from Amazon.
(It is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.fr)
In this adventure, Elodie and her friends, Harry and Lily, have to fight some nasty pirates to defend their boat and their treasure, but will they end up having to walk the plank?
What is the aim of The Adventures of Elodie / Les Aventures d’Elodie series?
For non-bilingual children: to show them that learning languages can be fun and to get them used to the different sounds and style of French from a young age.
For bilingual children: to learn how to read and write in their weaker language, and to understand that being bilingual is normal.
Who are The Adventures of Elodie aimed at?
- Children with zero level of French through to bilingual kids, as the books can be used and enjoyed on many levels.
- Whilst they are aimed at 6-11 year olds, they can be – and are – enjoyed by children of all ages: our 2 year old daughter and my 12 year old nephew both love Elodie and the Pirates / Elodie et les Pirates.
How is the book laid out?
Each page features the story in English, followed by an illustration, ending with the same story but in French this time.
Every book comes with a parents’ and teachers’ guide and a free audio book, so you don’t have to dust off your GCSE/O level French to read it to your kids!
So who is Elodie and what are the adventures about in general?
Elodie is half English and half French, she lives in London with her French Dad, English Mum and older brother, Xavier. She loves climbing trees, making dens and playing outside with her two best friends, Harry and Lily, who are both English.
Every day after school Elodie, Harry and Lily go to their local park, to their favourite tree, and have adventures where they travel through time and space. They meet pirates, dinosaurs, soldiers, kings, queens and more, before the beep-beep-beep of the alarm on Elodie’s watch lets them know that it’s time to go home.
What are the messages behind the Elodie books?
- For parents to let their children (over a certain age) play outside without adult supervision, like we did as kids.
- That we should encourage children to use their imaginations and their environment to play, instead of relying on electronic devices.
- That girls are equal to boys and can do/be the same as boys (climbing trees, fighting pirates etc)
How does the language side of it work?
I have studied French and Spanish to fluency level (I am bilingual in French), I have also studied German, Italian, Dutch, Latin and Portuguese. I have taught English and French, both as foreign languages, to people of all ages, from 3 month olds to pensioners, to a real range of people, from those passionate about language learning to those who absolutely hate the language in question. So I do have an idea about learning and teaching languages 😉
As a mother to bilingual children I have despaired at ever finding decent bilingual books for my kids. Sadly there are lots of “The cat is in the tree” bilingual stories, but if the child doesn’t relate to the story in their main language, then they’re not going to be interested in reading it in their weaker language. So I decided to write a story that I thought our (now) 8 year old daughter would like to read, and then translate it into French.
But do children actually like the story?
Many of our 8 year old daughter’s friends have already read Elodie and the Pirates / Elodie et les Pirates and really enjoyed it, including her whole Year 3 class. Whilst her school’s head teacher loves it and will be using this book in their French and creative writing learning at school.
Here is what various different children have thought of it so far:
“It’s awesome! Where can I subscribe to more?”
Paddy, age 10
“It’s really good, I especially like the bit with the plank.”
Robyn, age 8
“I really like it, but I want to be Lily, not Elodie.”
Lucy, age 5
“I don’t normally read pirate stories anymore as they’re a bit young for me, but I really enjoyed this one as I’ve just started learning French at school, and this book makes learning French interesting.”
Joe, age 12
“I was really worried that Elodie, Harry and Lily would have to walk the plank, I’m glad they were ok in the end.”
Tommy, age 7
“I loved it all but my best bit was when everyone was ok at the end.” Alice, age 6
“I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next, and I loved reading it in English then listening to it in French too.”
Cara, age 8
You can follow Elodie Publications (the company behind The Adventures of Elodie) on Facebook and Twitter, and can request any future Elodie adventures via the Contact Page of our Elodie Publications website.
I really hope you like my first bilingual children’s book, if you do please review it on Amazon and share the love amongst your friends online and offline 🙂
Thank you for your continuing support you lovely people! xx
- Buy Elodie and the Pirates / Elodie et les Pirates as a Kindle/PDF/EPUB from our website, Elodie Publications.
- Buy Elodie and the Pirates / Elodie et les Pirates paper version or Kindle from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.fr or Amazon.com
Finally if you want a bit of a peak inside the book, check out this quick video I filmed the day I got the proof last week: