Books to help young children learn a foreign language should be enjoyable and this author and illustrator get it absolutely right. The story of Lucy the cat’s adventures on the farm is told in colourful bilingual picture strip with the French version in the top half of each page and the English version in the bottom half. The writing under the pictures tells the story and there are copious speech bubbles – very helpful to young foreign language learners as they grasp what you would actually say in each situation. Not a new idea of course – but it works well here.
The illustrations are most appealing – splashy ducks, egg laying hens, a bone chewing dog and a huge, fearsome bull. Things liven up when the bull charges towards an open gate at a terrifying speed. Lucy slams the gate shut just in time. Usefully, the key words are set out in both languages with accompanying pictures and a guide to pronunciation. (Also available in Spanish/English. Further information at www.bsmall.co.uk)