We are about to embark upon the holiday of a lifetime which includes four weeks travelling around France. To this end, I have attended French classes for the past couple of years and although my French is still, at best, basic I am confident I can at least find my way around a menu or even a map.
My tutor uses a high school text in class but her advice was to find some French reading material; novels, newspapers, magazines, etc. which she said would help us with our translation and promote our knowledge of nouns. So, I acquired several books that I have gradually worked through over the months - but they're probably not quite what she had in mind...
I began with several beautifully illustrated children's picture books including the classic Blanche-Neige (Snow White). I then picked up a number of French fairytales including roule galette, a fabulous story about a rolling pie! Fortuitously and for me well-timed, our own Anne Morgan produced a French language version of her book The Sky Dreamer. The French title is Le bateau de reves, or The Boat of Dreams, and I have enjoyed reading Anne's wonderful picture book all over again, this time in a different language. And then finally I graduated to a novel - one we are all familiar with: Le magicien d'Oz (The Wizard of Oz).
I don't know why I thought it would be easier to read children's books, because it isn't. And I'm still struggling through the novel. But, I am learning so many new words and also discovering bits and pieces of the story I had long forgotten. Perhaps one day I'll graduate to adult novels in French, but for now, I'm just thrilled I have the excuse to read beloved children's stories once again.
P.S.There are a couple of bookshops in Australia that sell French children's books (as well as adult books).