I love surprises and I especially love surprises that end up having ties to other parts of my life. Back in July I received an email from my dear friend, Layla Morgan Wilde of Cat Wisdom 101, telling me she had been contacted by Julia Livi, a talented illustrator/author originally from Paris, who now resides in Brooklyn, NY. (Tie #1 both of my parents were from Brooklyn and I still have some family there. Tie #2 I will be in Brooklyn this November!!) who wanted to see if she would review two of her books in the Voltaire Book Series. Since Layla has a cat blog she politely declined, but was kind enough to email me and tell me that “they are so up my alley” and oh how they are!!
Voltaire is a hipster who happens to be a third culture dog. He’s Franco-American and always looks forward to the word promenade as it leads to a walk in either language. He’s the narrator and main character in this children’s book series. He enjoys telling people of all ages about his family, his lifestyle and his hobbies which include costumes, fashion, art, eating and cuddling.
Voltaire se Promène
Simultaneously in French and English, Voltaire introduces himself, his confusion with bilingualism and his favorite activities on a walk with his human parents through Brooklyn Heights. Voltaire se Promène is a book destined for French, Brooklyn, dog and walk lovers of all ages. Voltaire se Promène is the first book of the bilingual book series: Voltaire: The Franco-American Hipster Dog. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version of Voltaire se Promène here.
As you can see by the cover of one of the two books that I received, the illustrations are superb!! Not only will they appeal to children, but they will appeal to adults as well. The books are written in English and French (they are SUPER easy to read), which in itself is delightful. What a wonderful and fun way to introduce little ones to the French language!
In fact the Voltaire Book Series was originally created so that Julia Livi (who is a self-described ” third culture kid from Paris, now in Brooklyn), could help her sisters teach our languages to their children living on both sides of the pond. Her American brother-in-law had to make up the story when her niece gave him a French book to read and her father had to do the same when English books were given to him. These books include everyone.
With the Voltaire Series, no matter what family member was asked to tell a story, there’s a language they can read. Julia later shared her books with her adult French students, and realized they really enjoyed them too. These books are for all ages, for French-lovers, Brooklyn-lovers, dog-lovers and happy-go-luckies everywhere!!
The second book I received was:
Voltaire and Tonton Joe
Also written in French and English, Voltaire introduces his uncle Joe and the struggles they face as well as the silver linings when Tonton Joe is deployed in Afghanistan. Voltaire and Tonton Joe is the second book of the bilingual series: Voltaire: The Franco-American Hipster Dog. You can purchase the kindle version or paperback of Voltaire and Tonton Joe here.
As you can see, the illustrations are so beautifully done that they alone make the books a worthwhile expenditure. Couple that with the fact that they are unique, and educational books that are actually works of art, which adults will appreciate, you have a win-win! Children will delight in the charming Voltaire and will enjoy learning words from another language, French! These books would make great bedtime stories and would also be great for library story groups and of course elementary teachers. This leads me to “Tie #3!” I have a niece who lives in Denver who has a little one who will be two in January. They are heading to France for Thanksgiving and I am going to surprise them by sending them my copies of the books. My niece is a Guidance Counselor (and a former Art History major), and I know she will cherish these always. With the holidays approaching, these would make great gifts!
GIVE-AWAY!! Julia Livi has most generously offered to give away THE SAME BOOKS THAT I RECEIVED to THREE LUCKY WINNERS LOCATED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!!! (An approximate $25 value!) Entering is easy! Simply enter on the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a copy of both books in exchange for my honest review.