Trotro is a character by the French publishing house Gallimard. (The cutesy name Trotro, I imagine, comes from the French trottiner, to trot or scamper around.) Originally created for a television series, Trotro now has his own collection of books for kids.
According to the official website of Trotro, he likes playing in puddles and hates taking baths and eating sardines. He’s also not very tidy but has lots of imagination.
Here are some titles you might enjoy in the Trotro series:
Trotro the Donkey is Eco-Friendly!
Trotro and Zaza Go to the Farmer’s Market
Trotro’s Pony (Seems a bit dodgy though, no? A donkey riding a pony?)
Again from Bayard, Wonderful Kids’ Stories is a collection of books by different authors and with different characters. This collection came highly recommended by a few friends, so although it’s not a thematic collection with a central hero, I thought I would mention it here.
Certainly if you’re looking for some standalone stories that aren’t fairytales, take a look at some of the wonderful kids’ stories:
Miss Beetle Looks for a Fiancé
The Princess Who Sucked Her Thumb
I Want My Diaper!
Little Black Cat Is Scared at Night
I don’t know about you, but I would dearly like to flip through some of those books, based solely on the weird titles!
Leisure School is yet another French publishing house. They have several collections for kids and young adults, but best not for babies. Again, I had several friends recommend me titles from this publishing house.
A cool feature on their website is that you can look up stories by theme. So, say you’re looking for a book to help teach your child about grief, or the pandemic, or political conscience. You can have a list of all the books Leisure School publishes around that theme, books such as:
The Raccoon Who Didn’t Want to Wash
Everyone to the Construction Site!
But… It’s Not Fair!
Oscar and Carosse: Pasta Soup
Why Don’t I Ever Get Any Hugs?
Additionally, École des loisirs has a “reading out loud” resource. So if you don’t feel up to snuff yet with your French, you can listen to a recording of a book with your baby or child.
One last resource for French baby books
Lire, c’est partir. To read is to go out! It means that reading expands the mind and provides escapism.
In fact, Lire, c’est partir is also the name of an organization that sells kids’ books for only 0.80 € a copy. They print their own catalog of books in France and Spain. Their original works are not available in stores; only on their website and sometimes when they hit the road to meet their readers face-to-face!
Among the titles published for the 2019-2020 season, you’ll find:
How Are Starfish Born?
The Algae Queen
Who’s Eating What?
The Annoying Flower
Green With Fright
They also have titles involving a “Little Wolf” character, but these should not be confused with the hero from Auzou above.
Bears and wolves and donkeys, oh my! Now you have some insight into the most popular books for French babies today.
If you enjoyed this article, I highly recommend checking out my other resources for speaking French at home with your kids:
Jessica is an American expat living the dream in Normandy. She is wife to a French hubby and mama to a Franco-American daughter, born in 2018, and one whippet. Passionate about all stages of writing, this Francophile created her blog in 2020 to help others navigate motherhood with a focus on conscious parenting and bilingual parenting. Bonne lecture !
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