Parlez-vous francais?

FRENCH FUN. By Catherine Bruzzone and Lone Morton. Illustrations by Louise Comfort. B Small Publishing pound;7.99

Parents or teachers seeking to introduce children to their first steps in French need look no further than this excellent value activity pack.

Advertising itself as a "fun learning book to be enjoyed in the classroom, on the kitchen table, or even in the car", it provides 16 pages of games, puzzles and practical activities for individual or group use. In addition there are press-out characters with attractively coloured clothes to mix and match. The accompanying cassette is crystal-clear and provides just the right amount of support. Parents or teachers will feel confident, what-ever the level f their own French.

Some may question the value of activities in which the French element is not intrinsic to the task - joining the dots to form a picture or cutting out items of clothing - but this is to miss the point. The aim is to have fun, and if some French is acquired along the way, so much the better. If youngsters pick up no more than a warm feeling about learning French and a willingness to continue, then much good will have been done. Some may find the phonetic pronunciation of French words off-putting (deh beess-kwee - biscuits), but experience shows that those whose French is rusty will be pleased with support such as this.

Richard Marsden is an education consultant and writer

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