#Friday Reads – Paris Hop by Margie Blumberg
Paris is unique. To know her is to admire her, to visit her is to surround oneself with beauty, to envision her is to set the imagination afire Noreen Nash
The month of May saw the first holiday Stephen and I have had since we spent less than 48 hours in Dublin, Ireland finding our own way around the Bloomsday Trail in 2010. It was my birthday, a biggish number deserving celebration, and three days in Paris seemed perfect. I had very specific intentions: eat at Café des Deux Moulins; walk around Place du Tertre; visit The Louvre to see Hermaphrodite Sleeping; and enjoy dinner and a show at Moulin Rouge. Not only did our break away deliver – even if Hermaphrodite Sleeping had been moved to the Grand Palais for another exhibition (which we still visited) – we fell in love with Paris.
But why does this lead us to a children’s book called Paris Hop?
We left our son behind in the care of my parents. In his words, ‘You disappeared on me and went to The Tower.’ (Not that he was overly bothered really. His first words to me on the morning we returned were, ‘Where’s nanny?’ and, ‘you have to go again so Nanny and Grandad can come back.’) At not even four years old, the only way Nanny and Grandad felt they could explain to him where we were was to show him pictures of the Eiffel Tower and to say we were there. (We even bought him a little souvenir tower.) With this, on our return, our boy had become fascinated with ‘The Tower,’ and had us reading the appropriate section from our Eyewitness Travel Guide as a bedtime story, while my husband dragged out a much-loved copy of Anatole by Eve Titus. To satisfy and encourage this interest in more practical terms, I tried to find a children’s book about Paris, of which there are several. But it was Paris Hop that appealed, largely because I could download a copy on to my Kindle and read it to him that very night. This is something that I hadn’t done before.
Our decision to do Friday Reads based on Children’s’ books doesn’t come lightly. We have decided that unless the book stands out above and beyond we are more inclined to stick to adult fiction/non-fiction. So immediately you know that this book is special enough for us to post it as a Friday Read.
by Margie Blumberg & illustrations by Renée Andriani
Paris Hop is a 40 page book published by MB Publishing, LLC in November 2014. It is written by Margie Blumberg and Illustrated by Renée Andriani. To cite the jacket copy: ‘On a visit to Paris for just one day, Grandma Goldie is eager to show her granddaughter, Aimee, how the city sparkles in the sun from the top of the Eiffel Tower. But the other joys of “Paree” create delightful detours along the way. Will this peppy pair make it to the tower before sunset? Find out in this charmingly illustrated rhyming tale about the City of Light . . . and happy surprises.’
Grandma Goldie and Aimee start their journey to the Eiffel Tower but are distracted along the way by the smells from the bakeries, the artists of Place du Tertre, a puppet show in a park, the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, boutiques and great monuments, and a trip on the river where they see Notre Dame Cathedral.
The rhyming of this book is beautifully done with catchy sentences that your child will love ‘Today’s the day we see “Paree” from the tippity-top of the tower…’ The illustrations are simple and yet effective, and capture Paris perfectly for the imagination of a child.
But the special thing about this book is that it introduces a bit of the French language in to the story.
‘Oui-oui, s’il vous plait, Non-non, we can’t stay –’
‘Though really, no stopping, No hippity-hopping – Regard, ma fille, the hour!’
The dispersion of the French within the English text has been cleverly done, and at time repeated in English,
‘We have to fly…Au revoir, goodbye, Fais vite – be quick – the bus!’
And don’t be discouraged if you are a little unsure of pronunciation because the wonderful creators of this book have provided you with a double spread of the words used, what they mean and how to pronounce them. This little addition can help you teach your child the words too.
Our son is currently asking for it to be read numerous times before bed! This is an absolutely gender-neutral book, and is perfect for any child about to visit or have visited Paris as they will recognise some of the locations, if not all then absolutely the iconic Eiffel Tower.
But even if you don’t have any interest in Paris, do not let that put you off. The friendly and successful writing style in and of itself deserves recognition.
The only thing I have to note is that if you are buying it for a tablet, please be aware the text is very small so unless you have good eyesight or have a large tablet I would advise buying the paperback. Either way, Paris Hop is well worth the investment, introducing your child to the concept of a different language and culture in an engaging and accessible way. Tres bien!
And if that didn’t convince you a review on Amazon by Splashes into Books will:
A girl and her gran are off to climb the tall tower
But really need to watch the hour
On a visit to Paris they find lots of things to see
Dresses to try on, great food for their tea
All enroute to the Eiffel Tower where
To see the view from the summit is the aim of this pair.
But time is short, there’s lot to see, so will they get there?
Will they have time to stand and stare?
This book has beautiful pictures that show
Just where this pair in Paris go
The story is told throughout in rhyme
Introducing French words many times
There’s even an explanation so that you
Can understand the French words too!
A book that I have to say
Is definitely worth a look at today!