Read to Me – Reading Book Challenge. Books 10, 11 & 12 French Flavor Part 2
Book 10 Mamdouha by Lucie Cosquéric, illustrated by Denis Carnevali
As you will have noticed, I enjoy books that allow children to discover other cultures. Mamdouha is a young Egyptian boy who lives in his capital city of Cairo. Mamdouha and his cat Miou, set about kicking a soccer ball in the streets of Cairo. A ball chase becomes a little girl chase, which develops into a cat chase as some horse and camel riders, working for the Goddess Bastet, capture Miou. The search takes the children through the souk, into the museum of antiquities, across the Nile with the help of a friendly croc and amongst the great Egyptian pyramids. The amusing tale gives the reader an authentic, if whistle-stop, taste of Cairo and its surroundings. It is a short book, only 24 pages, but the text is pretty long on each page so I would recommend this for children of maybe 6-8. The illustrations contain many wonderful, cultural details that could have a child pouring over each page.
Book 11 Les Petits Chevaux du Vent by Anne-Catherine de Boel.
Before you have even begun to read the text, the colors and designs of the illustrations have taken you on a journey. This is a mystical story of courage; a young girl’s last resort to help save her sick mother, that of dispersing les chevaux du vent (paper horses imprinted with prayers) in the sacred place. To do this Doma has to undertake a dangerous journey with her yak, high up in the Tibetan mountains to the Zhara pass. She encounters: friends among the wild animals, the help of Buddha through a dream in a cave, and narrowly escapes the demon of the hermitage. Truly this story manages to transport the readers into another dimension, north of the Himalayas on top of the world. This picture book has 40 pages, thus longer than most and I would recommend it for culturally curious readers of 6+.
I have stood high up in the mountains of the Yunnan Province of China and looked down onto the most southeasterly tip of Tibet and longed to enter that hidden kingdom.
Book 12 Les Mensonges d’Odilon by Sylvie Auzary-Luton
A jolly South Pole tale for children from 2-5, of a naughty little penguin called Odilon who continually invents lies and, of course, manages to blame all the other little penguins for his fibs. Odilon’s stories become more and more unlikely and his friends more and more annoyed, until they day Odilon discovers himself between the paws of a huge polar bear hungry for supper. This is the old classic “cry wolf” story but with a polar setting and expressive characters that should appeal to young children.