Saturday, October 20, 2018

ANOTHER GRUMPY CAT

Famous French cat, Pompon, and mascot of this blog, does his best rendition of Grumpy Cat to illustrate a French slang term for junk food:  la malbouffe.  This term not only emcompasses certain fast foods, but can also include any processed foods that contain too many additives, sugar, fats, hollow calories, or artificial flavorings.


For young and old alike...
We would like to recommend an enchanting and captivating children's story, which is available in French, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, and in English, The Rabbit and King Frog. Both are sold worldwide on Amazon sites. Click on the titles to take a peek!




©2018 P. B. Lecron

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A KING-SIZE KEY

Where else but Versailles would you expect to see a record holder for one of the biggest locks and keys in the world? And a remarkably decorative one at that? A Versailles locksmith, the late Bernard Bouguin (1932-2009), built and fashioned the elaborate locking mechanism and its key, which were listed in the Guinness Book of Records 1996. The lock and key à l'ancienne are on display in the family's locksmith business at 9 Place Saint Louis, Versailles.

Vocabulary
une serrure:  a lock
une serrurerie:  a locksmithery
un serrurier, une serrurière:  a locksmith
une clé, une clef: a key

Read in French!
A fun an easy way to speed up the acquisition of a second language is to read illustrated children's books in that language. Great learning resources, their images often make the text self-explanatory. We'd like to suggest the charming and captivating adventure, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille. This original tale written by Marianne Lecron, and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, are available worldwide on Amazon sites. Both books have colorful watercolor illustrations and an enhanced vocabulary that will  keep up the interest of older children and incite the curiosity of younger. If you have Amazon prime, the delivery is free! Click on the titles to take a peek!


©2018 P. B. Lecron

Thursday, October 11, 2018

HANDS ON FOR EARLY LITERACY

In an effort to set a good example for my very young grandsons, my franco-american daughter and I have taken a hands on approach to encourage creativity and early literacy--she has written and I have illustrated children's stories, all the while with the boys watching on and beginning to learn to read. At first the illustrated tales were just for them, but once printed and shown around, we realized that the stories have a healthy market! 
Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, above, and it's English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, is our second endeavor. It's an adorably surprising tale about Papa Rabbit's youngest daughter, Gladys, who gets stuck on a lily pad. 
We're also really excited to learn that our first book, Le Lapin et la Lune, is being used by some French school teachers to teach children to develop their imagination and to understand the moral of a story! Its English version is The Rabbit and the Moon
All titles are available worldwide on Amazon. You can click on the titles to take a peek!

Vocabulary
acquérir:  to acquire, to get hands on


©2018 P. B. Lecron





Wednesday, October 10, 2018

SETTING THE SCENE

A neo-classical setting complete with a broken jardinière is an eye-catching detail in the intimist painter Henri Le Sidaner's suspended Italian garden at Gerberoy. If this arrangement were part of a theater set or a film production, you could call it une mise en scène--and one which creates the sensation of stopped time. For a virtual visit of the garden and village, click here.

For young and old alike...
From early literacy for kids to jump-starting the acquistion of a second language for adults, nothing compares to reading easy-to-understand illustrated children's books! We recommend a captivating and original tale, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog. Both are available worldwide on Amazon. Click on the titles to take a peek!


©2018 P. B. Lecron

Monday, October 8, 2018

GOLD!

The girolle or golden chanterelle is a choice and much sought-after culinary mushroom. Its season in France lasts from May through the end of November. These were on sale yesterday at the Versailles open market.

Reading matters!
If you or your child are learning French or English, then why not immerse yourselves in reading children's books? Illustrated and easy to understand, they are great learning sources and are a fun and effective way to jumpstart the acquisition of a second language--even for adults! 

We would like to recommend our collection of tales that not only delight, but also teach valuable moral lessons: our first and ever popular book,  Le Lapin et la Lune and its English version, The Rabbit and the Moon; as well as our newest and very colorful edition, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog. All are available worldwide on Amazon. Click on the titles to take a peek!

©2018 P. B. Lecron

Friday, October 5, 2018

YESTERYEAR CHARMS

Invitingly nostalgique 
Vintage wrought-iron, ice-cream parlor chairs harken back to idle summer days. These are at the salon de thé and restaurant, l'Atelier Gourmand de Sarah, located in the heart of one of France's most beautiful villages, Gerberoy, in Picardie.

Vocabulary
d'antan:  of yesteryear, of long ago
autrefois:  in the past; in the old days


Read in French!
Jumpstart yours or your children's French language learning by reading illustrated children's books in French! We'd like to suggest the charming and captivating adventure, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. It and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, are available worldwide on Amazon. Both have enhanced vocabulary that will keep up the interest of older children and incite the curiosity of younger. If you have Amazon prime, the delivery is free! Click on the titles to take a peek!


©2018 P. B. Lecron

























Wednesday, October 3, 2018

WELCOME ON BOARD

Tranquility and tradition: les "Paudeau" sailboats


Good old-fashioned fun for children, traveling or not, at the bassin du Jardin du Luxembourg. The famous model sailboats, hand-crafted by the late Pierre Paudeau beginning in 1927, have become collectors' items. Parents rent the toy boats at a concession stand for their children to sail in the basin.
Vocabulary
un voilier:  a sailboat
Bienvenue à bord:  Welcome  on board
une maquette:  a model

For young and old alike...
We would like to recommend an enchanting, illustrated children's story, which is available in French, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, or in English, The Rabbit and King Frog. Both are sold worldwide on Amazon. Click on the titles to take a peek!



©2018 P. B. Lecron

Sunday, September 30, 2018

END OF SUMMER MAGIC

At summer's end and until the first freeze, dahlias are undeniably the stars of Claude Monet's garden at Giverny.


Vocabulary
le premier gel:  the first frost

Story time!
Promote early literacy and encourage your little ones to curl up and read. We'd like to suggest an imaginative and illustrated children's story, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, to read in French, or its translation, The Rabbit and King Frog. Both are available worldwide on Amazon. For the young and old alike. Click on the titles to take a peek!
©2018 P. B. Lecron




Wednesday, September 26, 2018

SOCIAL CLOUDS


Des nuages sociaux
No, we're not talking about computer networking, but altocumulus clouds like these, above. Because they appear in groups, they are also known also as social clouds.



Fuel for a second language!
Reading an illustrated children's story in a foreign language is a great way to energize your acquisition of a second language. Get started now with a new and original conte published by Birdie Bergamot Books, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. It and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, are both available worldwide on Amazon. Click on the titles to take a peek!



















©2018 P. B. Lecron

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

HOMAGE

In French, the word is hommage, with two "m's". 
Monument to General Lafayette

The above photo is of French military jet contrails that formed a cross during the inauguration of monuments of both General Lafayette and General Pershing in Versailles this past year. The equestrian statues are mounted on twin pedestals and pay homage to the two generals and the armies they led respectively in the American War of Independence and in World War I.

Monument to General Pershing

Vocabulary
une traînée de condensation:  a contrail, a vapor trail




Recommended reading
A new and enchanting illustrated children's book available worldwide on Amazon in both French and English. With its colorful watercolor illustrations and enhanced vocabulary, the book appeals to both young and old alike. Check out  Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog.




















©2018 P. B. Lecron



Monday, September 24, 2018

PRUDENCE


Qui s'y frotte s'y pique
"You better watch out" expresses the idea of this very old French proverb, which grosso modo means he who rubs himself against, will get pricked. This is also along the order of "if you play with fire, you'll get burned." 

A big thanks to my good friend, Sylvia, who contributed the photo along with the expression!

Vocabulary
frotter:  to rub
se frotter:  to rub against; to cross swords with somebody; to come up against
piquer:  to sting, to bite, to prick
se piquer:  to prick oneself


Wake up your French! Reading an illustrated French children's book is an effective and easy way to jumpstart your fluency. No matter what your age, and whether you're learning French as a second language or looking for a new book for your child, we would like to recommend Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille. It and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, are available worldwide on Amazon. Click on the titles to take a peek!
©2018 P. B. Lecron


Sunday, September 23, 2018

NATURE WALK

On the Baie de Saint-Brieuc
What's wonderful in France are the foot paths along much of the nation's coastlines, like the one going off to the right in this photo taken in Bretagne. Known as des chemins or sentiers des douaniers, these were the paths that custom officials once walked to guard against maritime contraband. Maintained today as pedestrian nature paths, they are a walker's delight, and short of boating, are the best way to become acquainted with French coasts. 


Vocabulary
le littoral:  coast
un chemin: path
un sentier de randonnée pédestre:  hiking trail
un douanier:  a customs officer



Take a peek in our new children's book!  Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, are both available worldwide on Amazon.


















©2018 P. B. Lecron

Saturday, September 22, 2018

LIKE A PEACOCK

Legend has it that the glorious peacock emits a long, mournful cry at the sight of its ugly feet.

Fittingly, the French have an expression to describe a vain person who becomes vexed when his faults or defects are brought to his attention:  "Il est comme le paon qui crie en voyant ses pieds."  He is like the peacock who cries when he sees his feet.

Although Pompon, a French Sacré de Birmanie and this blog's mascot, has lovely white mittens, he has very accommodatingly struck a pose to illustrate today's post.


What's up?
My franco-american daughter has written another charming children's story in French and I have had the pleasure to illustrate and translate it to English. If you'd like to take a peek, the books are available worldwide on Amazon: Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, écrit par Marianne Lecron et illustré par P. B. Lecron, and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog.

As in her first conte pour enfants, Le lapin et la lunea story about the importance of helping one another, the protagonist is Papa Lapin. Its English translation is The Rabbit and the Moon.
















©2018 P. B. Lecron

Friday, September 21, 2018

GOOD READING!

Bonne lecture !
We are pleased to announce colorful new additions to our bookcase, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille,
as well as its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog. This enchanting story was written by my daughter, and illustrated by yours truly. Both are available worldwide on Amazon. Click on the titles to take a peek. For young and old alike!

Vocabulary
bonne lecture:  good reading, happy reading
une bibliothèque:  a library; a bookcase


Our collection is growing! See also: Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron et illustré par P. B. Lecron, and its English version, The Rabbit and the Moon.
©2018 P. B. Lecron

















Friday, May 25, 2018

RED AS A POPPY


Rouge comme un coquelicot is a French expression describing either a deeply blushing person or someone who is red with anger. A favorite French wildflower, the coquelicot was one the first flowers to spring up on graves of soldiers buried in northern France and Belgium during World War I. The small, red species of poppies quickly became an international symbol of remembrance after being immortalized in the 1915 poem In Flanders Fields written by Canadian military doctor, John McCrae. The red poppy is also a favorite of pollinating insects. The poppy field above was photographed by our friend Sylvia, near her village in the Gard.

Vocabulary
un coquelicot:  poppy
un butineur: a nectar gatherer; a browser; a crawler (as in a search engine indexer)
un pollinisateur:  a pollinator
éclatant(e):  brillant, bright
champêtre:  country, rural, open-air
une fleur champêtre:  a wildflower


Reading in French is fun!
Immerse yourself or your child for a moment in a French children's story! Reading an illustrated children's story in a foreign language is a great way to jump-start the acquisition of a second language. For starters we suggest a charming conte, Le Lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. It and its English version, The Rabbit and the Moon, are both available on worldwide Amazon sites.




















For more posts about poppies:
A French Education: THE ARABLE WEED
A French Education: COCORICO
A French Education: CORSICA OF COURSE
©2018 P. B. Lecron

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

RECYCLE THAT CORK!

In case you didn't know...
Wine bottle corks are a very recyclable product, and today more and more wine sellers or cavistes around the world collect them to that end. If yours doesn't, then it's high time to militate and get a program started! Used corks are transformed into many decorative and construction products. In France, people can localize the nearest businesses where they can drop off used corks by consulting planeteliege.

Vocabulary
un bouchon de liège:  a wine bottle cork

©2018 P. B. Lecron

Saturday, April 21, 2018

IN MATCHING SHADES

Ton sur ton
The tone-on-tone color of these tulips sunning on the windowsill are an inspired choice for the gardener's house of the Parc Bagatelle, Paris.

Vocabulary
un rebord de la fenêtre:  an exterieur windowsill
un appui de la fenêtre:  an interieur windowsill



©2018 P. B. Lecron



Click and take a peek!

Friday, April 20, 2018

FIFTY SHADES OF GREEN

A peahen in the Parc Bagatelle in Paris's Bois de Boulogne on a very warm, spring day.

Vocabulary
une paonne:  a peahen
un paon:  a peacock


©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read it in French!
We're pleased to post these links to the French and English versions of a new children's story, written by my daughter and illustrated by myself:  Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron; and The Rabbit and the Moon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

BEFORE AND AFTER

Some of friend Sylvia's last year's batch of cerises à l'eau de vie shown with this spring's cherry blossoms in her country garden in the south of France. Fresh cherries are washed, placed in a jar and left to macerate in aqua vitae with a little bit of sugar and a cinnamon stick for at least 5 to 6 weeks. Sylvia says that in her recipe, however, she used equal parts of Pineau des Charentes liqueur and aqua vitae. To consume with moderation!

Vocabulary
cueillir:  to pick, to gather
un bocal:  a jar
un bocal à conserves:  a kilner jar, a canning jar
l'eau de vie:  aqua vitae


©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read it in French! For young and old alike, an illustrated children's book with an engaging and gentle lesson in the importance of helping others:  Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. The conte is also available in English: The Rabbit and the Moon. Both are sold on worldwide Amazon sites.

Monday, April 16, 2018

HIGH DRAMA


There's drama in the garden when the cherry trees are blossoming. Friend Sylvia in the Gard just sent us this dramatic photo of what will soon be confiture of her own making! Merci pour la photo, Sylvia!

Vocabulary
les fleurs de cerisier:  cherry blossoms


©2018 P. B. Lecron


What is this? Click here.






Sunday, April 8, 2018

BITS AND BOBS

De bric et de broc
A gardener's sundry items whimsically displayed on a vintage cart at les Floralies de Château de Campuget caught photographer and contributor Sylvia's eye while visiting the yearly plant and garden event in the small town of Manduel in the Gard. Merci, Sylvia!


Vocabulary
de bric et de broc:  bits and bobs; with any old thing
une charette:  a cart

©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read a children's book in French!
Attain fluency faster by immersing yourself in children's books, which after all, are great learning sources! For starters, we recommend Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. If learning English, then take heart, this new and popular conte is available in English, The Rabbit and the Moon. Both are sold on worldwide Amazon sites, and both are for young and old alike!




Saturday, April 7, 2018

AM I BLUE?


Imported from Japan to Europe in the later years of the 18th century, the hydrangea in France was given the name hortensia by the famous French naturalist, botanist, doctor, and explorer, Philibert Commerson (1727-1773), in honor of a friend named Hortense. 

The acidity of the soil determines the color of most hydrangeas, with color variations of its clusters of petals ranging from cream to pinks, and blues to purple. 

Friend Sylvia photographed these showy young flowers at a plant and garden event, les Floralies de Campuget, in Manduel, a small town in the Gard. The Gard is a department in the Région Occitanie.

Vocabulary
inflorescence:  inflorescence; i.e. the disposition of flowers on the stem of a plant

©2018 P. B. Lecron


Read it in French...or in English!
Whether learning French or looking for a charming bedtime story for your children, consider this new conte pour enfants, Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. Versions in French and English are available on worldwide Amazon sites. The title of the English version is The Rabbit and the Moon.


Friday, April 6, 2018

IT IS SPRING INDEED!

En effet . . .
You may know this wild spring flower by the name of star of Bethelem or l'etoile de Bethléem. The French have still more names for this very common, paper-white beauty:  l'ornithogale en ombelle, la jacinthe du Pérou, la belle-d'onze heures, or what I like best, la dame d'onze heures. Friend Sylvia snapped this photo in the Gard in the south of France.


Vocabulary
en effet:  indeed


©2018 P. B. Lecron


A word about reading...
Reading children's books in a foreign language, at no matter what age, is a great jump-start for the acquisition of a second language! If you're learning French, or simply looking for a children's book in French as a gift, then here's our recommendation, Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron. The book is also available in English, The Rabbit and the Moon. The story gives a gentle lesson and highlights the importance helping others.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

COMESTIBLE?

Too pretty to eat
One of the earliest spring flowers in France is the primevère, which according to multiple online sources is comestible. Culinary and medicinal virtues are attributed to its young, tender leaves for use in soups and salads, and its blossoms for decorative effect. The primevère is both a wild and cultivated flower. When picking, it is advised to simply pinch off a few leaves and flowers and to not uproot this adorable perennial that begins to carpet the ground in early March. If any doubt persists about identifying this plant for consumption, or having an allergic reaction, then abstain!



Vocabulary
une primevère:  a primrose (Primula)
se régaler:  to feast
se régaler de:  to really enjoy
un régal pour les yeux:  a feast for the eyes

©2018 P. B. Lecron


If you are learning French, or looking for a language-rich experience for yourself or a child, 
then we suggest delving into children's books! Here's our own recommendation with text




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

FRESH AS A DAISY

Frais comme un gardon!
Fresh as a daisy might be stretching it a bit as a translation for "frais comme un gardon" considering that a gardon is a small, fresh-water fish in France. Gardon is coincidentally also the name of the river that the engineering marvel of antiquity, above, le Pont du Gard, crosses. From what I've read, "frais comme un gardon" is a 17th-century expression that was used to boast about the freshness of produce; this was because the gardon was known to stay fresher longer than other fish sold in the markets. Over time, it came to be used to describe one who is either in good form or who is well conserved--like this elegant Roman aquaduct which dates to the first century.
Photo contributed by good friend, Sylvia.





©2018 P. B. Lecron




Learning a foreign language? Know that reading children's books is great practice!
For starters, here's my own family's contribution to the French Education's Reading List,
Le lapin et la lune.  It's English version, of course, is The Rabbit and the Moon.