The Adventures of Elodie is a series of bilingual children’s books that follow Elodie and her friends, Harry and Lily, on their daily adventures after school (go to our Products page to see individual books in the series).
Each page features the story in English, an illustration, and then the same story in French:
What’s the point of bilingual children’s books?
- Learning languages from a young age has been proven as a great way to stretch and develop the brain, both from a linguistic point of view and from an analytical one too.
- All children from Year 3 upwards in the UK now learn a second language at school, and the majority of schools have chosen French as their second language. These books can help with this language-learning at school.
- it is important to show children that learning a language can be fun, and that it is not just about reciting irregular verbs and learning complicated grammar.
Who are The Adventures of Elodie bilingual children’s books aimed at?
They are aimed at children with all levels of French, from zero knowledge to those who are bilingual:
- The children who have no knowledge will start to develop an ear for French (through the accompanying audio book that is free with all Elodie stories) and to recognise the French words on the page.
- Children who have some former knowledge of the language will be able to start matching the French words up against the English equivalent, e.g. a boat – un bateau.
- Children who have a good level of French will be able to improve their accent and listening skills through the audio version, as well as their spoken French through reading the story out loud.
- Bilingual children (like the author’s own 8 year old daughter) can use the books to improve their reading in their weaker language, along with developing better understanding of the structure of sentences.
The Adventures of Elodie can be enjoyed by children (and big children) of all ages, our suggestion is age 6-11. However the author’s 2 year old daughter and 12 year old nephew are also big fans, so this age range is very much a rough guide only. Adults have been known to benefit from the books too as the stories are fun, and help them dust off rusty French!
You can find testimonials from children of different ages on our Products page.
How should these bilingual children’s books be read/studied?
This will depend very much on the age and the level of the child in question, but here are some suggestions:
- As a bedtime story – you/your child can read the English part, then listen to the audio for the French part.
- In the car – listen to the audio and follow along in the book (if car sickness isn’t an issue!)
- In class – put the story up on the big screen and play the audio. Get the children to follow the French text on the screen whilst listening simultaneously.
- After a certain amount of repetition with the audio version, get your child to try and read some of the words in French by themselves.
- Get your child/children to use each book in the series as an inspiration to write their own adventure for Elodie and her friends.
- They can be read in one language or two, with or without the audio recording to accompany the book (you can choose whether to listen to just one language or both at the same time).
There is a parents’ and teachers’ guide at the back of each book so children can get the most out of the stories with adult help. But the most important thing to remember is that language learning can and should be fun, and that is the main aim behind The Adventures of Elodie.
So who is Elodie and what are her adventures about?
Elodie is half English and half French, she lives in London with her French Dad, English Mum and older brother, Xavier. She loves climbing trees, making dens and playing outside with her two best friends, Harry and Lily, who are both English.
Every day after school Elodie, Harry and Lily go to their local park, to their favourite tree, and have adventures where they travel through time and space meeting pirates, dinosaurs, soldiers, kings, queens and more, before the beep-beep-beep-beep of the alarm on Elodie’s watch lets them know that it’s time to go home.
When the author sat down to write the first stories in The Adventures of Elodie she was thinking back to a simpler time, when children were allowed to go and play at the local park without adult supervision, when parents weren’t able to track their child’s every movements with the use of a mobile phone.
Alongside the language-learning in The Adventures of Elodie there is a message to children:
- Run outside and play
- Use your imagination
- You don’t need a phone/tablet/games console to have fun
- Girls can have just as much fun as boys, and can be just as brave and daring as boys
As a mum to two daughters (one of which is a massive tree-climber) the author was keen to share a strong female role model in these stories.
We hope you like the ideas behind The Adventures of Elodie and the stories themselves. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, or would like to speak to the author about coming to talk at your school then please get in touch via our Contact page.