I remember reading Leslie Kimmelman's Everybody Bonjours! to my older son when he was 4 and both of us setting it aside and never looking at it again. However, now I've read it to my 2 year old and he cannot get enough of it. He loves me to read it again and again.
Of course, my 2 year old has no concept of Paris as a place but I understand why this book it is so appealing to him. Kimmelman's tightly controlled rhyming text takes us on a whirlwind tour of events perfectly expressed for the 2 year old's mind. We bonjour (I'm assuming that if we can "verb" the word "access", we can certainly accept a "verbing" of the word "bonjour", right?) high, low, soft, loud, in crowds, while eating, sleeping... all the important toddler activities. Comfortably, all of this exciting "bonjouring" takes us right back home, where we can "hello."
Sarah McMenemy's colorful illustrations highlight the narrator in a variety of Paris locations, both famous and ordinary. Since two year olds are not interested in landmarks for their own sakes, our girl guide in a red dress is likewise interested in men with brooms rather than the Sacre-Coeur, the gargoyles rather than the Notre Dame and the musicians, rather than the Centre Pompidou. On each page the little reader can find Monsieur LeMousie in odd places (and very oddly, completely out of proportion to the rest of the illustration). A fun map in the end pages will help little ones retrace the journey in the book descriptions of the locations are included. I didn't bother reading them to my 2 year old, but they are nice for older children.
Fun, quick, light and cheerful. C'est bon.
Read a review at The Well-Read Child, or Pied Piper Picks, or Seven Impossible Things.
Visit the author's website.
Visit the illustrator's website.
Little Kid says: Bojoo book, please.