Format: PDF Review Copy (Hardcover Available)
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? I had to brush up on my high school French, but it was well worth it for this book–because it is a story told in both English and French! This is the story of two friends, Pierre and Paul, who consider themselves to be brave explorers. One day they decide they are going to hike the Himalayas and they set off on their grand adventure. Not long after starting, they realize they are hungry and need to abandon their quest to have some lunch. They go back to Pierre’s house and start making a lunch fit for explorers; Paul’s only request is that it not be salad–he does not eat salad. They decide to make a sandwich and they get very brave and very creative– using ham, cucumber, cornflakes, cheese, couscous, and just about anything else they can find in the refrigerator. The sandwich becomes extremely tall and eventually falls into a heap on the counter. Pierre scoops up the ingredients, puts it in a bowl, and calls it a salad–also telling Paul that explorers are brave and he needs to eat his salad.
There are many aspects of this book that I loved. What I first noticed is that this book reminds me of early readers where children use context clues to read the words on the page. Because I am not fluent in French, I was able to use the text and the illustrations to determine what was being said. For example, “Today they are climbing the Himalayas. Quelle grande montagne!” This text was accompanying an illustration of the two boys climbing up a very tall mountain and hiking through the clouds. There are also so many illustrations that follow the text and help with words being used in the story–food items, hiking supplies, etc.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? This book would obviously be perfect for a young child who is learning French, but the story is so cute that any child over the age of three years old would enjoy the adventures of Pierre and Paul.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, preschools, daycare centers, anyone who works with children over the age of three.
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, cute story and a great way to learn a little French.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: May 15, 2020