Saturday, July 23, 2016

ventes flash! books for kids--in French--for a dollar (or a euro) each--through August 16!

I know, I know.  I don't need any more books.  (Non-packrat, non-teacher husband nods his head vigorously while bookcases cower in fear at the thought of squeezing more volumes onto their cramped, sagging shelves.)

But I want my kids to read in French (and to enjoy doing so)!  And I always can use more books for my storytimes and tutoring!

So imagine my delight when I saw that "J'aime lire," which publishes several magazines and series of (mostly) original, contemporary stories for children, is currently offering 100 of their e-books for 99 cents apiece!!!

I had downloaded their (free) app years ago; it comes with a handful of free e-books, and the rest can (usually) be purchased for between $3 and $6.  Still a good price, at least compared with the cost of purchasing and shipping children's books from France (or even Canada).  But I picked and chose very carefully and had only added a few more in the meantime.

But now, throwing caution to the vent, I went on a shopping spree--and still only spent $17!

(And husband and bookcases breathe sighs of relief.)

The sale runs through August 7, and I can't believe you're still reading this blog post instead of rushing to the website or the App Store to double or triple your own collection of French books for kids!  (I would recommend downloading the free app onto your device of choice, then buying the books as in-app purchases, but it looks like you can do it online and read the e-books on the computer too.)

Wondering where to start?  I recommend trying one from each of the following, exploring it with your children, and then downloading more from the collections that best fit you and your children's interests and abilities:

Petit ours brun, sold in collections of three stories about the friendly bear and his family (very short, content is ideal for toddlers/preschoolers, but easy for older kids as they're learning to read in French; you can also watch Petit ours brun videos on YouTube)

The Histoires pour les petits collection (the equivalent of picture books to be read aloud to children, these were published in earlier issues of the magazine; some of them are avec audio, with professional actors and music--so fantastic for kids learning French and/or learning to read!)

The Les belles histoires pour tout-petits collection (slightly shorter picture books from a different magazine for younger kids, some avec audio or avec animation) and/or Les belles histoires (geared for ages 4-8)

Les animaux du monde (interactive nonfiction books about animals, taken from Youpi, my favorite French magazine for kids); if I were you, I would go ahead and download all of these, or at least all the ones on sale!

BDs (bande dessinée--comic book), such as La famille Choupignon (aventures of a family and their pet turtle, good for younger kids) or Ariol (adventures of mischevious animals at school; see a preview in English here)

J'apprends à lire (similar to the stories in Histoires pour les petits, but designed for children who are reading independently, featuring avec audio and also hyperlinked quickie definitions for words here and there)

Mes premiers j'aime lire (very short chapter books with a color illustration on each page and the avec audio option to read along with the narrator)

J'aime lire (longer chapter books) (but still short)

Moi, je lis (slightly longer chapter books, mystery-themed)

And not (currently) on sale, but highly recommended:

Cabane magique (Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Treehouse series translated into French, featuring two intrepid siblings who travel back in time to visit and learn from different cultures; they are never truly in peril and each adventure is concluded in ten short chapters)

Les grands témoins en BD (short comic books about historical figures such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Louis Braille, Anne Frank, Einstein, and Malala)

Devinettes maxi pas bêtes (collections of 25 bad puns gathered from Youpi magazine, which my eight-year-old has loved for three years now and still delights in reading aloud, even though he has them nearly memorized by now)

Isn't this exciting?!  Please leave a comment to let us know which one(s) you tried and liked!


  1. Great tip! I organize a french baby playgroup in NZ and will share this post with the parents, thanks

    1. Bonjour Fabiana! I would love to hear more about your group, especially how you recruit members and what you do during the playdates!

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  3. The August sale on J'aime lire e-books is now over, but I still want to say merci for the tip! We're not big readers of e-books, though we use Storyplayr from time to time. We've also gotten free credit for books at the J'aime lire store after subscribing to a month of Bayam (the downloadable educational French game site that I reviewed here: I hope you are all loving your new e-books!

  4. I would love to read updates on how your two are doing with the trilingualism. Does Gwyneth speak French much? I'd LOVE to read a post on how they are both developing as trilinguals.

    How do they like their public school? If Gwyneth resists French then does she resist Spanish?

    Also, do you know the names of the textbooks that your kids school uses for Reading/Language Arts and Math? I'm looking for Spanish language textbooks and am having trouble finding something suitable.

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