Sunday, July 29, 2007

Carl's newest French book

I wrote a book! Well, not a book that will ever be published, and not too scintillating to us grown-ups, but Carl seems to like it just fine. Frustrated by the lack of books in French for kids which are both reasonably priced and available in the US, and tired of reading him books about baby animals and seasons and such, I decided I should just create my own about things that are important to my darling 18-month-old nephew.

So this tome is called Le quartier de Carl--Carl's Neighborhood--and it takes him on a walk from his house to the park and back. I've illustrated it with pictures of what we typically see and do on such a walk--for example, running through the grass, watching squirrels, playing with the mailbox, and so on. (I used a digital camera, and then copied the pictures into a Microsoft Word file. There are usually two pictures on each 8.5 x 11 inch page, with narrative underneath. Then I printed the story out in color, placed the pages into clear plastic sheet protectors, and put them all in a thin three-ring binder. Voilà! Instant toddler-friendly book!)

Here's the text of the story, first in French and then in English, with a handful of the 25 pictures. (If any fluent speakers of French catch any mistakes, or can suggest a more felicitous way to phrase something, please let me know!)

Voici la maison de Carl. Elle est en briques. Quelle jolie maison confortable ! Elle se trouve sur la rue X à Lafayette dans le Colorado aux Etats-Unis sur le continent de l'Amérique du Nord.

La maison a une porte, des fenêtres et un garage. Qu'est-ce qui habite dans le garage ? Les voitures ! Voici la voiture de Tatie Sarah. Carl aime beaucoup les voitures. Sur cette photo, Carl trouve la roue de la voiture.

Au fait, Carl adore tous les moyens de transport ! Dans son quartier, il voit aussi le bus, des motos et le facteur dans sa camionnette. Le facteur apporte le courrier à la maison. Carl aime regarder dans la boîte aux lettres pour voir s'il y a des lettres pour lui !

Carl se promène souvent dans le quartier avec sa famille. Parfois il s'asseoit dans la poussette et quelquefois il préfère marcher tout seul. Marche, Carl, marche! Sur cette photo il marche sur le beau gazon vert au parc.

Il y a beaucoup à faire au parc! Dans l'aire de jeu, Carl monte et descend l'escalier, traverse les ponts, descend le toboggan et et se balance dans la balançoire. Après avoir joué, Carl a soif, donc il boit de l'eau.

Qu'est-ce qu'il y a d'autre dans le quartier de Carl? Carl voit des écureuils, des oiseaux, des chiens, des abeilles (dans les fleurs), de grands arbres avec des feuilles vertes, des pierres, le trottoir, des barrières et des clôtures, la poubelle et la rue.

Carl est très content d'habiter dans ce quartier !

Here's Carl's house. It's made of bricks. What a pretty, comfortable house! It's located on X Drive in Lafayette in Colorado in the United States on the continent of North America.

The house has a door, windows, and a garage. What goes in the garage? Cars! Here's Tatie Sarah's grey car. Carl likes cars a lot. In this picture, Carl finds the wheel of the car.

In fact, Carl loves all types of transportation! In his neighborhood, he also sees the bus, motorcycles, and the mail carrier in the mail truck. The mail carrier brings mail to the house. Carl likes to look in the mailbox to see if there are any letters for him!

Carl likes to go for walks in the neighborhood with his family. Sometimes he sits in the stroller, and sometimes he prefers to walk by himself. Walk, Carl, walk! In this picture, he's walking on the beautiful green grass in the park.

There's so much to do in the park! At the playground, Carl goes up and down the stairs, crosses the bridges, slides down the slide, and swings in the swing. After playing, Carl is thirsty, so he drinks some water.

What else is there in Carl's neighborhood? Carl sees squirrels, birds, dogs, bees (in the flowers), big trees with green leaves, stones, the sidewalk, fences, the garbage can, and the street.

Carl is very happy to live in this neighborhood!


  1. How creative!!! The texts and pictures are wonderful. Your ideas have been inspiring me a lot. Thanks for sharing, Sarah.

  2. So cute! I wish you had included space dividers ( | ) so I could get some sense of how much text is on each page.

  3. Thanks!

    As for the amount of text on each page, it's just a line or two underneath each photo.

  4. Nice idea. We have a baby book for Rémy to complete - as he'll be coming up to 3 months on the 19th.

    Another thing we have is a set of drawers made in hard cardboard to store things like his first dummy, first birthday candle and first champagne bottle cork(!)

  5. It's certainly too late but maybe for the next book:
    I would rather say :

    Qu'y a-t-il dans le garage ? Des voitures !


    Qu'est-ce qui habite dans le garage ? Les voitures !


    "et fait de la balançoire"

    instead of

    "et se balance dans la balançoire."

    but I must say your french is really impressive, not like my english.


  6. Merci bien, Pauline! Your English sounds just fine to me. :)

    I'll add these corrections to the file and implement them if I ever get around to making a similar book for Griffin!

  7. Thanks for your comments, and also for linking me to this post. Great ideas!!!

  8. Beautiful pictures !
    Your French is pretty good :)