“What’s your favorite book?” I asked my kids (Part 2)

My son will turn four in February 2014, thus he is almost four now. To the amazement of our  frequent guests he loves to spend time with books. If the guest is willing to read to him, this will be a never ending story. He will accommodate himself on the guest’s knees and bring book after book to be read to him.

He also tells stories to us and our guests. Yesterday he told our friends who came for dinner “You know, I just ate a mouse!” And he went on enjoying the details of his imagination.

I asked him to give me some of his favorite books, and these are the ones he brought me.

(note:  because our family has moved three countries since he was born, he speaks good Russian, Spanish, Catalan, French and some English)

Favorite books of my almost four year old son:

1. Ecoute les bruits de la foret (Listen to the sounds of the forest)

Ecoute les bruits de la foret


2. Усатый-Полосатый Маршак (Children poems by Marshak)

Усатый полосатый


3. Chuggington magazine



4. La historia de El Cid Campeador adaptacion por Carmen Gil-Bonachera (The Story of the Cid adapted by Carmen Gil-Bonachera)

Cid el Campeador


5. Elmer by David McKee



6. Let’s Go for a Drive by Mo Willems

Let's go for a drive


7. 10 Petit Penguins por Jean-Luc Fromental (10 Little Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental)

10 petits penguins


8. The Empty Pot by Demi

The empty pot


9. Tante Bruns Fodselsdag by Billedbok and Elsa Beskow (Aunt Brown’s Birthday by Billedbok and Elsa Beskow)

Tante Bruns


10. Bonne nuit, Petit Ours! by Didier Zanon (Good Night, Little Bear! by Didier Zanon)

Bonne nuit, Petit Ours!


11. Como mola tu escoba por Julia Donaldson (Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson)

Como mola tu escoba!


12. Palmier de Noel pour Audrey Poussier

Palmier de Noel


13. Le Plus Malin pour Mario Ramos

Le Plus Malin


14. Renato aide le Pere Noel pour Maud Legrand et Virginie Hanna

Renato aide le Pere Noel


15. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo


16. Лучшая книга для чтения от 1 до 3 (The best book for kids 1 to 3 in Russian)

Лучшая книга для чтения


17. 1001 cosas que buscar en el pasado (1001 things to spot long ago)

1001 cosas que buscar en el pasado


18. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

The Tiger who came to tea


19. Приключения Незнайки и его друзей Николай Носов

Приключения Незнайки


20. Sant Jordi i el drac por Anna Canyelles i Roser Calafell (Sant Jordi and the dragon by Anna Canyelles and Roser Calafell)

Sant Jordi i el drac

Absolutely Biased about France


I am biased about France. I like it. I liked it as a kid, reading the Dumas books and imagining how the meat pie and the Burgundy wine would taste; I liked it as a teenager listening to Joe Dassin songs and having lived in France for a year; I like it as an adult so much, that I enrolled my both kids into the Lycee Francaise school system and help them learn French. Yes, I read them books in my broken French and ask my daughter to correct my pronunciation. It is a great experience of learning from my own child.

Driving in France

And here we go. Driving through région Languedoc-Roussillon towards Toulouse and stopping in the small villages on our way.


Toulouse is very nice and full of houses made of red bricks. Close to the basilique Saint-Sernin there are lots of book stores. Another thing that I am not impartial about, apart from France, is books. And, books in French obviously win the lot. There is nothing better than holding the books in the language you love. And, hey, I can understand almost everything. And pronunciation… well, I try!

Books in French

If you visit Toulouse, here is a thing about it: they close kitchen really early. You can’t get a warm meal after 3 pm and dinner ends towards 8. Very much like US, I guess, but opposite of Spain.


However there are plenty of Tea Houses that are charming (and warm). It is February and it is cold in France in February, thus finding a warm place for coffee counts! The cakes are home made, the staff is friendly and the view, well…. we are in Toulouse!


Toulouse is welcoming. We walked quite a bit through the city, and its central part is full of cafes, book stores and souvenir shops that sell everything related to violets. The violet soap, the violet marmalade, the violet candies, the violet oils, the violet liquors… well you get the idea.

Violette Toulouse

I do not think there is much I can add about Toulouse. But here are some random moments of the day that I liked:

1. The menus written in FrenchCafe in Toulouse

2. The signes on the streets (in French too!)Street name in Toulouse

3. The basilique Saint-Sernin insideLa basilique Saint-Sernin de ToulouseLa basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse

4. The red brick buildings with blue shattersHouses in Toulouse

5. And most of all I like the fact that everybody is speaking French (and everything is in French!). Well, I started this post with the statement that I am biased about France, so there you go.Cafe in Toulouse

Toulouse, February 13th 2013