Is your child a fan of Pete the Cat books? My daughter absolutely loves the series and its various characters. If you’re teaching your child French, you’ll be happy to know that many of these fantastic James Dean books are translated into French. We’ve purchased several French books from the “I Can Read” collection and regularly borrow the other ones from our local library. Since spring is just around the corner, I recently reintroduced “Pat et la Chenille Verte” to my daughter, who now wants to reread this book several times before her nap. It’s a great French spring book for kids that explains in simple terms the process through which a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.
Pat et la Chenille Verte – Scholastic book
Yes, that’s not a typo. Pete the Cat in French is Pat le Chat! The French version of the “I can read” books is called “Je lis avec Pat le chat” and they are all great stories that toddlers can either relate to or that will spark their curiosity.
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Insect and butterfly life-cycle vocabulary in French
Insect or bug – un insecte
Ant – une fourmi
Anthill – une fourmilière
Ladybug – une coccinelle
Spider – une araignée
Fly – une mouche
Caterpillar – une chenille
Chrysalis – une chrysalide
Butterfly – un papillon
To transform – se transformer
Head – une tête
Leg – une patte
Wing – une aile
Colours and numbers in French
Pat et la Chenille Verte is not only great for insect and metamorphosis-related vocabulary, but it also incorporates colours and numbers in the story. The ants and spider are black, the caterpillar is green, and the red ladybug has nine spots. You can have fun talking about other colours in the book, such as the yellow flower or green leaves.
Parts of a plant in French
You can also explore the different parts of a plant in French. The book mentions leaves, flowers, and twigs, but you can also point out the stem and leaves.
Patience and change
This story educational in many ways. It teaches children about metamorphosis, a biological process, in simple terms. It also explores more abstract themes such as patience and change.
Spring is the perfect time for your little ones to go on their own bug safari. My daughter loves observing insects outside using her magnifying glass. If you’re lucky enough to find a caterpillar, you could reproduce the experiment at home. Alternatively, there are butterfly life-cycle figurines or puzzles that you can use to discuss the sequence of the transformation.
What French spring book is your child’s favourite?