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Voyages et Vacances: French Travel Guides to Amuse Children on Holidays

Isabelle Intranslation By Isabelle Intranslation Published on March 28, 2018

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You have meticulously prepared your family trip.

The ride went off quietly thanks to the activity books that you had the presence of mind to pack

Keep up the good work: to ensure that your travelling takes place in peace and joy, we have guides specifically designed for children and to help them develop their French vocabulary. Here are three excellent book series. The first two are for primary school children and the third is for young teens.


The Diaries of Zoe and Gabin

The series "Les diaries de Zoé et Gabin" (The Diaries of Zoe and Gabin) by Sylvie Baussier and Pascale Perrier allows you to discover countries or regions of the world through a focus on an animal. For example, the title Face aux lions (In Front of Lions) takes us to Tanzania, in the famous Serengeti Reserve. It is presented in the form of a travel diary written by Gabin, 9, and annotated in the margin, by the humorous illustrations of his sister Zoe, 11, and completed at the end of the book by the photo -reporting of their mother, Madame Boujotte, wildlife photographer and blogger. Gabin recounts, in his own words, and with the preoccupations of children, what he observes during the safari: the grass as far as the eye can see, the mosquitoes ("Gabin: 0 - Mosquitoes: 100!"), not being allowed to get off the minibus, and watching - that magical moment - the animals.

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This series is full of fun ideas: what if your little ones were also to write a travel diary? There are lots of titles, in the same series: Loups à l’horizon (Wolves on the horizon) in the French Alps, Nez à nez avec les ours! (Nose to Nose with the bears!) in Quebec, Gros plan sur les tigres (Close up on Tigers in Cambodia), Plongée avec les dauphins (Diving with Dolphins) in the Canary Islands, and Silence, chevaux sauvages (Silence, Wild Horses) in the Gobi desert, in Mongolia. Starting from 7 years old.


Family Travel

The series "Partir en famille" (Family Travel) published by Lonely Planet offers mini tour guides specifically for children. Rome, London, New York, Paris, Barcelona, ​​Lisbon; each city has its guide. We find the usual entries, but adapted for young readers (easy-to-understand info, games, a booklet of games to detach and play in the city in specific locations). There is also information provided about the city, its history, the inhabitants, the culture and the customs, the feasts, the gastronomy; lists of restaurants, shops, and hotels that are worth seeing.

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There are close-ups (with maps) of the neighborhoods, and pages titled "Follow the Guide" which offer a comprehensive look so you don’t miss anything. Examine the gargoyles, admire antique toys or take a boat trip to Barcelona. Walk in the footsteps of monks, attend a fado show or contemplate the azulejos in Lisbon. The activities are labeled by age to make it easy to see immediately if it is suitable for your family. As a bonus, a detachable map (with an index of streets and transport network) is included. Starting from age 8.


A Destination Explained to Kids

The series "Pour en savoir plus que les grands” (Knowing More Than the Adults) has been renamed “Une destination expliquée aux kids” (A Destination Explained to Kids). Also published by Lonely Planet this series is also separated by city (Berlin, London, New York, Rome, Barcelona, ​​Paris) but also by country (China, United States). However these books are for teens. The series comes in the form of fun informative books, full of anecdotes and illustrations. The aim of the game? Challenge your parents! Example, for Berlin, who are the Giants of Potsdam? Or: why there are so many of bears in the city? From 11 years old.


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Isabelle translates and edits articles into English from other languages on the Bookwitty site. She always adds a hyperlink to the original article in her post.

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