Madly Chaterjee, children’s author, has created this incredibly special dual-language book.
When Madly began writing, she wanted to create a book which had a setting that was totally child-friendly, animal-friendly and eco-friendly. A story where children would immerse themselves in a positive world, full of generosity, kindness and happiness. This book has definitely achieved that!
This storybook stands out against so many others because it has a very unusual element to it- it is written in both English and French. The two different languages run alongside each other in a way which isn’t at all distracting to the story- each page has the English at the top and the French at the bottom. It is a fantastic way to enjoy reading for young children who are being brought up with two languages or who wish to learn other languages. I also think that it is a great way to show all children that there are other languages out there in the world.
This is book 1 of a series (we can’t wait to see the following books!) Within this book are two stories which are both set within Slowville and have the same characters but are two stand-alone stories. You get two books for the price of one!
The first story tells of the children visiting a farm with their school. Instead of it being a basic story that would just introduce what a farm is like and the animals that you may find there, this story is an adventure. The children find a lost cow and help the farmers to rescue it and have it be reunited with its Mum. There are several moments of tension and quite a lot of excitement and a lovely happy ending.
In the second story, the children are helping make meals for the residents of an old peoples’ home and are having a lovely morning, until they realise one of the residents has failed to turn up to the dinner. They set out to try and find her, but will they find her? And will there be any raspberry tarts left if they do?!
I like bothof these stories as they are about caring for people/animals within the community and teach good values but also because the stories are full of fun and little bits of tension- just the right amount for a children’s story.
I read these stories with my 7 year old who enjoyed them. He could read the majority of the words and liked trying to read it independently. The way the text is broken up it doesn’t make it look intimidating- just a few sentences on each page and lots of bright pictures to enhance the story. My little boy liked the farm story best because he was excited to know what would happen to the cow that was stuck.
When I read these stories with my little boy, it opened up some conversations- why do some old people live in homes? What do they do all day? Why don’t we visit them? When can we next go to the farm?
I enjoyed reading this with my little boy and I know many others will enjoy it too. These are gentle stories which emphasise caring for others and looking after our environment. It makes lovely escapism for the busy world we live in, that’s for sure. We read this in English as we don’t speak French but the French words being on the page too was exciting for my little one who was very interested to find out that some people can speak more than one language!
These stories definitely do what the author set out to- they open children’s minds to being kind, there being diversity and provide them with stories which they can unwind to.
The pictures are beautifully illustrated- colourful and fun. They enhance the story and have it come to life really well.
I think that this series will be very much loved by many. It’s lovely to have stories to read which are about communities all working together and looking after each other. I am very much looking forward to seeing what else The Children of Slowville get up to in the future books.