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Cover of Pierre and Paul Dragon!

Pierre and Paul Dragon!

By Caroline Adderson Illustrated by Alice Carter. Owlkids Books, 2021. 32 pages, $18.95.
Jessica Colafranceschi

Pierre and Paul are two little friends with big imaginations. They travel through their neighbourhood together and regular objects become pieces of their shared fantasy. The trash can becomes a dragon and a skateboard and umbrella combination becomes their ship. They interact with each other and other characters in the book in both English and French. The book is cleverly written so that monolingual people can still understand the story in either language. Pierre speaks in French and Paul responds in English. Many items used in their adventures are labeled in both languages and the illustrations demonstrate how the boys see their world.

This is an excellent choice for early immersion or junior Core classrooms. This book is a great way to begin using PWIM (Picture Word Induction Method) in a Grade 3 classroom. It can be a fun way to discover theme-based vocabulary (D1.3). Students develop their vocabulary and can use those words in familiar sentences to start building their speaking and listening skills (B1.2). Students in Grade 1 or 2 can listen to this book in a read-aloud and review familiar and new words (A1.3). Children will enjoy the whimsy and creativity in the story. This simple and beautifully illustrated book may serve as the inspiration for students to create stories of their own without fear of making mistakes in another language. Bilingual books also validate students from many different linguistic background.

In the Core classroom, this is the ideal book for a lesson on reading for meaning, (C1.2) students can use the images as well as the translated conversations to make sense of the story. Students can discuss strategies they used to understand the text as a part of the metacognitive piece of the Core French curriculum (C2.3). This is also a good book for shared reading activities or dramatic pieces. Bilingual books can help all students access the curriculum on many different levels so teachers can differentiate their lessons based on the needs of the individual students.

Jessica Colafranceschi is a member of the Peel Teacher Local.