On the weekend, we took our first trip abroad as a trio.
Our destination was Laval in the Loire Valley, as I had been invited to visit and write a travel feature about the town.
It proved to be a charming place to spent a few days en famille. We stayed in a stylish hotel called Perier du Bignon where Baby Bookworm was treated like a lord, visited the 11th Century castle housing the Musee d’Art Naif and cycled in the sun along the Mayenne River towpath.
In between our packed itinerary, we found 15 minutes to nip into a children’s bookshop and browse the shelves.
Lots of people collect things from their travels – mugs, Christmas decorations, paintings. We have a fridge covered in magnets from every America state we have been to. So I decided it would be nice to start a collection for the baby – and native books seemed the perfect choice.
This blog was part of the reason, the other was a book I was given by my grandmother.
It’s a pop-up version of the story of Thumbelina… in Russian. She visited the USSR on a trip with other health visitors when I was not much bigger than Thumbelina herself (I was a very small child) and this was my gift.
Now, I cannot speak or read a word of Russian, but that did not matter. I loved looking at the exotic text and illustrations. I still have it and it sits on the bookcase in Baby Bookworm’s bedroom.
After umming and ahhing over the gorgeous selection on offer, from Herve Tullet to French versions of Dr Seuss, we settled on a striking monochrome title called Safari. It has clues and sliding pieces to reveal different wild animals, and declares that it is an ideal “first playbook for nine month olds”.
The style felt very French although further investigation revealed that the publisher is Belgian and the designer is London-based.
No matter. BB loves it and listened intently when his Francophile father read it to him on the train back to Britain.
An excellent first addition (or should that be edition?) to his international library.
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