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When l’ours snores: Wintertime Animals in French for Grades K-2

Come winter, hibernation is a fascinating topic for all ages—from the little critters in our families who go to great lengths to resist their own bedtimes, to those more experienced beasts among us who are always happy to settle their brains for a long winter’s nap. 

Here’s a fun hibernation-themed book list for children in kindergarten, first, and second grade who are learning to read in French. 


Winter is here, but the bear cub doesn’t want to come home, no matter what his mother says. Finally, shaken by a strong snow storm, he seeks the protection of her arms—though he’ll say it’s only because he doesn’t want her to be bored, all alone as she hibernates.

Ages 3 to 5.

L'Ours et les feuilles

A bear cub is astonished to see the leaves fall. What should he do? Try to put them back on the tree? Finally, tired, he decides to make a mattress, and falls asleep until spring. When he wakes up, the leaves grow back and welcome him!

Ages 3 to 5.

Le Drôle d'hiver d'ours

The bear is behaving very strangely indeed: collecting moss, logs, and branches to build a winter house. The other animals laugh at him, but when winter comes, bear is cozy in his house while they’re out in the cold. Being a very kind bear, he invites them in; but unfortunately for the bear, they are too excited to sleep...

Ages 3 to 7.

Mademoiselle tout-à-l'envers

Who is this newly arrived American cousin?, wonder Trotinette and Totoche the mice. They think she’s a weird one alright. She’s not bald, but she has a funny crumpled snout, big donkey ears, and two awful wings!

Ages 6 to 8.

Un hôtel pour hiberner

Mr Bear is ready to hibernate, but he can’t fall asleep! His den is way too small, and other animals that live with him are way too noisy. He decides to take a room in a big hotel, where the bed is comfy, the shower is hot and the menu is appetizing. So why is it he still can’t fall asleep?

Ages 6 to 8.


What’s the difference between “hibernation,” “wintering,” and “summering”? What does the hedgehog do in winter? And how does he wake up in the spring? Did he eat a clock? Marianne and her older sister Valérie ask a thousand questions about hibernation. Luckily, François, Sophie, and Juliette have the answers.

Ages 6 and up.

What are your little ones' favorite wintertime reads in French? Please let the Bookwitty community know in the comments below. Thanks!

Cover image from Non by Claudia Rueda


Katie is a reader, editor and note taker who works as a Content Writer at Bookwitty. Originally from Wisconsin, she's at home in Dublin.


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