Belles lettres;Primary;Books

1st May 1998 at 01:00
PEN PALS: a Friendship in English and French. By Lone Morton and Catherine Bruzzone (English); Jacqueline and Roberte Jansen (French). Illustrated by Jane Hughes. bSmall Publishing pound;9.99.

In this delightful book, the pen-pal relationship between Jerome and Katy unfolds through a series of realistic pull-out letters in French and English. Katy and Jerome each describe, in their own language, their daily routine, home, family, school, hobbies, likes and dislikes, and each letter has a side-by-side translation.

There are real envelopes and letters, a postcard, a photo, a town plan and even a mini phrase book, all of which can be handled and give a feeling of authenticity and immediacy.

The authors are particularly interested in bilingualism and the book aims to encourage children as young as eight to write to a French friend. The correspondence forms a pattern and there is a list of useful expressions for writing letters in French, together with advice on how to start a pen-friendship.

It would make a perfect gift for a child interested in France and a pen-pal, but primary and Year 7 pupils could also benefit from such an attractive book - it is so refreshingly real.

This is an intriguing book with a lovely story, interesting novelty value and an exciting approach to a bilingual education.

Sue Brown

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