Wednesday, July 13, 2011

14th July Bastille Day

The 14th July is Bastille Day, the French
holiday that celebrates the storming of the Bastille which took place on 14th July, 1789. This date and occasion marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the end of absolute power for the reigning monarch, Louis the 16th. And although this concept is probably beyond the children I teach, they do learn French. It is the language taught to 3 to 8 year olds by very gifted teachers who make French live. The library has a large number of picture books in French. We have a box full of Madeleine books and another of Babar as well as books about France, but today I thought it would be good to highlight three more recent picture books that you may be less likely to know.

The Queen of France by Tim Wadham and Kady MacDonald Denton is not really about France at all, but about a very creative child, named rose who imagines herself a queen and her parents go along with the game.

Moi and Marie Antoinette by Lyn Cullen and Amy Young. This story is told by Marie Antoinette's dog and it concentrates on the princess's early life from a child in Austria up to her marriage to Louis XVI.

The Day We Danced in Underpants by Sarah Wilson and Catherine Stock. Here the King and Queen of France invite guests to picnic with them. A man has a clothing malfunction and his underwear is exposed. The result is very funny and an important lesson is learned from the embarrassing event.

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