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Ma maison (2019)

by Astrid Desbordes

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When I was at Librairie Kl├Ęber this past December, I browsed the children's picture books to find some thing with nice art and an engaging text that my nearly-three-years-old nephew might enjoy while stuck in the car, but also that would help me expand my skill with the language - and I happen to really enjoy children's picture books, besides.

Typically, I wouldn't be a fan of the art style Pauline Martin uses for the Archibald series, but something about Ma maison kept drawing me back, and ultimately, the simple but detailed line drawings and soft, bright color palette won me over. It doesn't hurt that my nephew likes the pictures a lot, too, and enjoyed pouring over the details. I'll always upgrade my opinion of a book if he asks to read it again, which he did multiple times with this one!

There are two themes in this book. The first is about houses and where people live, in general. I love that Archibald's first home is in his mother's belly! He describes his house, then compares it to the different places where his friends live - in the city, in a trailer, on a farm, messy houses, clean houses, etc. I'm always a fan of books that compare the different ways people live, and this is a good way to share that with a toddler.

The other theme is emotions. While describing his house, Archibald says that sometimes his house reflects his emotions - big scary emotions mean his house feels too big or too loud or too dark, but when he's happy, it's cozy and full of love. I liked the way the emotions are shown, and the way the drawings of the house and family reflect them. They're a good jumping off point for talking about them with the toddler, too!

Overall, even though I am not fully fluent in French, I found that my basic vocabulary and the pictures were more than enough to read this book to my (English-speaking!) toddler, and we both enjoyed talking about what we read, and the pictures. It's a really great book for the 3-5 age, and I'm going to take another look at the others in the series the next chance I have! ( )
  keristars | Jan 8, 2020 |
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