To Hell with Dying by Alice WalkerIf I were to rate this book purely by the enjoyment it brought to my children as a read-aloud, I might rate it higher. I found it a bit of a marathon to read to them, but they were with me for every word. The story somehow touches something inside them; it resonates. Perhaps its the theme of death, touched with love and compassion, that draws them in so well. The story is well-told, and the characters are very real. It must be read with feeling and sensitivity, especially the refrain: To hell with dying man! These children want Mr. Sweet! The central character, Mr. Sweet, is a tragic man with a kind and gentle soul, and his life is shared so kindly with the books first-person child who loves him. Definitely recommended for children of upper-preschool age, or older for that matter.
French the natural way: les fables
Different cultures have different common experiences and stories that outsiders can only learn by being exposed to them! They have very cute illustrations by Benjamin Rabier. You can find them on the link above, or online, or even better, at your local bookstore. A famous French theater actor had quite recently a huge success reading these fables on stage: for advanced learners only, as he speaks very fast. However, nowadays, all school children are required to learn at least a few of the most famous ones. Such as the ones below. Really, every French person knows this fable, often by heart!
December 30, By Emmanuelle Tremolet. Jean de la Fontaine Copyright All rights reserved by blogpontolit on Flickr. This article is in English. Click here to read it in French. It now occupies a prominent place in the French cultural heritage and some precepts of the fables are even part of conventional wisdom.
The conditions to acquire a language
Jean de La Fontaine , born July 8? La Fontaine was born in the Champagne region into a bourgeois family. From to he held office as an inspector of forests and waterways, an office inherited from his father. It was in Paris , however, that he made his most important contacts and spent his most productive years as a writer. An outstanding feature of his existence was his ability to attract the goodwill of patrons prepared to relieve him of the responsibility of providing for his livelihood. In he was elected to the French Academy after some opposition by the king to his unconventional and irreligious character.
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