Picture Book Reading Challenge. More From France

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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.



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6 Responses to Picture Book Reading Challenge. More From France

  1. Once again you’ve managed to paint a word picture of each book that makes me want to read all three! And then, with this quote, you practically took my breath away:

    “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.”

    Oh my. Oh wow. That brings the experience from story to reality and has us standing on that mountain with you.

    The first two sound so wonderfully evocative of the different cultures and places — the last one sounds simply delightful fun. (Since I am a Pingu afficionado, Odilon sounds just my kind of penguin.)

  2. Joanna says:

    Beth, I found myself “traveling” to Egypt and Tibet as I read the first two and I think many children would have the same experience.

    Penguins are often a winner with kids, I think 🙂

  3. Patricia Tilton says:

    I am so happy you’re sharing some multi-cultural books — a passion of mine. Mamdouha is so timely with the events in Egypt. Nice choice. And, I especially liked your second choice about Tibet and the courage of one young girl to help her mother. May be wrong, but it sounds like a very spiritual book. I love this part of the world and almost traveled to Tibet in 2002. And your description of actually standing there looking down was priceless. Glad the books do transport you there when you read them — great choices for your kids.

  4. Joanna says:

    I think I will make it to Tibet one day 🙂

  5. lori says:

    I love books that introduce other cultures, past and present, to my son. I will look in to these titles! Thanks for sharing.

    • Joanna says:

      Hi Lori, thanks for dropping in. As a Tribe of 11 glad you still get time to read all those books with your kids 🙂

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