The new Programme of Study for KS2 Languages requires children to "appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language". I'm always on the lookout for books in French and Spanish that will enrich the children's learning experience and that will introduce language points and inspire some independent writing. Plus I am what you might call a book addict.
There are lots of things you can do with stories and books. Here are some of the French books that I have.
The old favourite Hungry Caterpillar is ideal for introducing days of the week and food. The "eating" pages contain repetitive language that's easy for children to join in with.
In Je m'habille et je te croque a wolf puts on his clothes before coming to eat you. Children would be able to create their own version with perhaps a different animal and different clothes.
Maman! by Mario Ramos only has one word (Maman) on each page. A little boy runs from room to room in the house looking for his maman, not noticing that in each room there are a different number of animals. This book is great for numbers, animals and plural forms.
The rabbit in Bon appétit! Monsieur Lapin decides that he doesn't like carrots anymore, and goes to ask some other animals what they eat. The language is nice and repetitive, and introduces you to things like "Pouah!" and "Beurk!" A good example of how direct speech works in French, and introduces some new food words, which children will be able to work out using their general knowledge.
The parents of the little crocodile in Je mangerais bien un enfant try to tempt him with bananas, sausages and chocolate cake, but all he wants to eat is a child. The language is more complex than in the previous titles, but it could be simplified.
Toutes les couleurs introduces colours as a little white rabbit gets stained with different colours while playing outside, before being bathed in blue water by his mother.
The little dinosaur in Pop mange de toutes les couleurs takes on the colours of everything he eats until he is a rainbow dinosaur. The language is a little more complex than in the previous title, but it also introduces similes and colloquialisms.
Petit poisson blanc is looking for his mother and comes across lots of other sea creatures who are different colours in the process. Children could create their own version of this story, using different animals and a different main character.
The La petite boule blanche series shows how pictures can be built up using a series of shapes, and each of the books has a different language focus. My favourite is La petite boule blanche au pays des contes, which focuses on nasal sounds.
Mots rimés pour lire sans trébucher has a series of poems and rhymes which focus on specific phonemes. Excellent for phonics.
And finally for intercultural understanding there is the La Terre vue d'Alban series, produced by the team that brought us Earth from the Air. Comment vivent les enfants dans le monde? has photos of children in the places where they live, with information about each one and a commentary by Alban the fish.
So these are the French books that I have. I'd love to hear about yours!