Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Freres is a charming and delightful picture book with the added bonus of teaching basic French vocabulary, focusing on restaurant related terms.
The actual story of the Bistro of Seven Brothers is prefaced with a pronunciation guide that is very user friendly, as tested by my 11 year old niece. She was able to decipher all of the words, though some of the guide did not lead to the French pronunciation that I learned in 1980’s high school French.
What follows is the story of an eventful day at a Paris bistro, with seven mice brothers and one sister all having their roles working under the head chef, their father. Whenever a kerfuffle occurs, the brothers are like dominos, as one’s upset triggers a chain reaction. Unruffled through everything is Petite Michelle, the younger sister and bistro hostess.
The artwork is dynamic and perfectly stylized, expressing personalities and enhancing the story. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of Petite Michelle and the image of brother Jean-Michel adding pepper, le poivre, to the soup. French vocabulary is seamlessly included, and easily interpreted, as it is almost always next to the same term in English.
My 11 year old niece describes the book as cute and good for someone just learning how to speak French.
Adding to the fun of The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Freres are several activities available through the publisher’s website at www.tanglewoodbooks.com. We already have plans to make the famous cheese soup, sew up some fabric mice, and color the picture of Petite Michelle. There are also a few more educational resources within the activities.
Definitely a picture book that I would recommend to parents and educators.
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley who provided me with a free Read Now copy in exchange for an honest review.