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French spring book: Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar

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.

Related: Learn colours in French: matching activity for kids

Related: Counting in French: One to ten (1 to 10)

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.

Related: Parts of a plant in French: vocabulary and activity

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.

Related: French books for big brothers and sisters

Bug safari

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?

Related: French children’s books: What we’re reading this spring

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