French Books

French Children's Books and Videos

Here are some links to French-language children's books that might be of interest to parents of French immersion students. These are all available from Amazon's Canadian site, at a reasonable price, with reasonable shipping costs to the U.S.:

Story Books

Histoires du Soir is a good basic French story book for children. Many of the stories are familiar, such as "Les Trois Peits Cochons" (the Three Little Pigs), "Boucle d'Or et les trois ours" (Goldilocks and the Three Bears), etc. Even the unfamiliar stories are fairly easy to read, even for parents with only modest French ability. Almost every page has at least one small illustration, to assist in bluffing ones way through a difficult passage. The book contains about seventy stories, so it provides plenty of material for a French storytelling repetoire.


"Caillou" is a familiar character to many American children, since he is on PBS television in English. There are a large number of Caillou books available in French. For those who have noticed, Caillou is frankly a bit "whiney" on television. Fortunately, he comes off much more well adjusted in his books. Here's a sampling of what's available:

And here's a sampling of French (and bilingual) Caillou videos:


Here's a selection of "Mots Mysteres" (word search puzzle) books:

Dr. Seuss

Here are some of the Dr. Seuss books available in French:


One of the best French children's programs we've been able to find is Passe-Partout, which was produced by the Québec Ministry of Education in the late 1970's. This program was the Québecois answer to Sesame Street, although it doesn't follow the same fast-paced format. The program consists of live-action segments of regular characters (the title character Passe-Partout and her friends), and puppet segments starring brother and sister Pruneau and Cannelle.

Both the live action and puppet segments were obviously done with a very modest budget, so you shouldn't expect any flashy production values. But in my opinion, the lack of flashy effects adds a great deal to the charm of the show.

The program also includes a number of interesting interlude films, and in many cases, even non-French-speaking adults will find these interesting. These films almost always have a very distinctive French Canadian feel. For example, snow and winter weather is often present, and they include such things as a lumberjack cutting timber and a snow shoe maker.

Even with no other exposure to the language, both preschoolers and younger elementary school children (along with their parents) will learn French by osmosis simply by watching these videos.

As far as I know, Passe-Partout is not sold in the United States, but the DVD's are readily available, at a reasonable cost, and reasonable shipping, from The links below will take you directly to each video's page on Invariably, one or two of them are on sale at any given time. There's no particular advantage to buying Volume 1 first, so I would recommend buying whichever happens to be on sale at the time. These DVD's use the same format as other North American DVD's, so will play in a U.S. DVD player with no problems. Each of these sets includes a total of 25 episodes.

CD of Passe Partout songs:


This is one of the best texts I have ever encountered for beginners to acquire a solid understanding of electronics and radio. Many editions of this book were published over several decades, beginning in 1926 with the Esperanto edition of "Fine ... mi komprenas la radion !" ("Finally, I understand radio"). This was followed several years later by "La radio ?.. . mais c’est très simple!" ("Radio, but it's very simple!"), which saw about 30 editions over the years.

While somewhat dated, the book provides an extremely solid background covering all aspects of electronics, and is written in a popular, easy-to-read style. While the book was ultimately translated into several languages, it was apparently never published in English.

The book consists mostly of a dialog between Ignotus and his uncle Curiosus, along with explanations by Professor Radiol, in which the characters explain in an interesting fashion all aspects of electronic theory.

While at least some exposure to algebra would be useful in understanding this book, it is not absolutely necessary. Indeed, a curious student with only a background in basic arithmetic will find himself learning algebraic concepts simply by reading the book.

This is by no means a "children's book". However, it is written in such a popular style that a bright student will derive a great deal of electronics knowledge from it.

A biography of the author (in French) can be found at

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