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Are you looking for the perfect French back-to-school read-aloud? Whether you teach Core French or French Immersion, keep reading! In this blog post, I've gathered a whole bunch of suggestions for you! There's definitely something new to you, if you're looking for a fresh idea. 

Some of the following books seem to be out of stock in the places I've looked online, but I'm including them in case they're in your collection already and you might have just forgotten about them. If I found them available, I linked their titles to where you can buy a copy. (I am an affiliate with Les Libraires, the online site that allows you to order from French independent bookstores in Quebec and parts of Ontario.) 

Focus on Text

La rentrée de Noah This cute book features highlighted rhyming words.




J'ai fait disparaître la maîtresse - So the connection to back to school is a bit tenuous here, but I fell in love with the easy-to-read format of the text and thought how useful that would have been for my Junior FI students (some of whom hadn't internalized the code required for reading French).


There are a whole series of these "Une syllabe à la fois" books. Ppar exemple: Arthur déteste la lecture or Les inventions de Lili They are a simpler version of the book I mention just above.



Kindness Books

Ici, c’est chez nous! - There's a free resource on Les p'tits mots-dits to use with this book.






La gentillesse, c'est (There are at least two books with this exact title.) This book is a translation from English (as is everything from Scholastic, in case you didn't know!).


 

La gentillesse c'est Written by Natalia Simons. This one is newer, and available in several different languages. I'm not clear on in which language it was originally written. 



Comment être gentil 
I wasn't able to find this one in stock anywhere, but it looks like it'd work well if you - or your local library - happens to have it.. 


An old favourite of many seasoned teachers -  As-tu rempli un seau aujourd'hui ? still has very valid messages in today's society.




Growth Mindset Books

Un bon point pour Zoé, also known as Le point de départ - The French translated version of The Dot is great for International Dot Day on September 15 or any time that you want to unleash creativity and a growth mindset in your students.




Je suis le meilleur - a translated book by Lucy Cousins



Ton fantastique cerveau élastique - A great book specifically on growth mindset.

Un jour tu découvras - I love this sweet book!


Parfaitement imparfait This is another title I loved so much I had to buy my own copy. I think partially it's the grammar pun that got my attention initially. :-)




Nerves and excitement

Qui sera mon professeur ? 



Le petit ourson à l’école





Que mange la maîtresse pour son goûter ? Curiosity about teachers and maybe a little fear of the unknown is normal.



Souris, tu viens à l'école ? - French version from the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series.



C'est la rentrée! (N'aie pas peur, Dragon!) 



Je suis capable : C'est la rentrée ! 



Enfin, te voilà from Mélanie Watt is a classic way to welcome your French class.



Being Different and Fitting In

Ovide à l'école



Le banc d'école bleu ciel - By the same author as Le bibliobus, which is another potential back to school read - but one I'd prefer to keep for a bit further in the school year. I like that selection better for talking about universal rights and Global Issues.



Tout ce qu'une maîtresse ne dira jamais



Pat se fait beau pour l'école I've included a separate list further on with other Pat le chat books that lend themselves well to "la rentrée" or to launching a particular subject area.



Ma maîtresse est une géante



C'est la rentrée, Grand-Pied! I've read this one myself and enjoyed it, knowing it would be great to tuck away for the BTS season!



A book that I haven't yet used myself, but that I've seen recommended by several French Immersion (and even French First Language) Teachers is Et dans ta tête à toiThere is a free resource on J'enseigne avec la littérature jeunesse to help with using this book in class at the start of the year. 



Rules and Expectations


David va à l'école Simple for starting discussions with your class on behaviour.



L'école des outils Cute book with a message about working together.







Copains de classe. Suis les règles - For the little ones!


 
À l'école, il y a des règles - A funny way to talk about the rules and expectations at school (and some French culture too!)



Perspective Books

Another favourite picture book of mine, that I learned about via the Forest of Reading a few years ago, is Une cachette pour les bobettes by Andrée Poulin. Here's a bit about it & a free resource to use with it.

It's great to talk about perspective, and since it's about a little boy who has a "laundry malfunction" (his fav but embarrassing pair of underwear are stuck in his clothes and falls out at school) at school, it would work for the first week or so. I like it as a way to kick off Social Studies, before you're really ready to get into the Social Studies content itself.



Another Back-to-School book that allows for discussion about perspective is L'échange scolaire



Robert Munsch

Je raffole de l'école !  - French version of "School Rules" 



La sortie scolaire - Class Trip - Munsch (A new book, coming out right about now)


On partage tout ! - French version of "We Share Everything!"


Le bouffon de la classe - French verison of "Class Clown"



Journée pyjama French verison of "Pyjama Day!"




Pat le chat 

Lots of options from this popular series work!

J'adore les Maths - For launching Math class in particular


J'adore aller à l'école 



Pat le chaton va à l'école 



Les roues de l'autobus Formulaic and recognizable because of the song.



À l'expo-sciences super cool For Science class, or for discussing setbacks 



Je danse tout le temps - Do you also teach the Arts to your class? Whether you're a Core French teacher who ALSO teaches Dance, or a French Immersion Dance Teacher, I thought this would be a cute read aloud.




Other Recognizable Characters

Benjamin va à l'école - In the French translations, Franklin the turtle is called Benjamin



La rentrée scolaire de Benjamin

 


Hello Kitty aime l'école
It seems like there may be different variations of this, or more than one Hello Kitty book related to school. Either explanation makes sense. I own a copy of this myself, but I don't have a source for you online at this time.


Novels

L'école qui n'existait pas is a classic Science Fiction novel, that is 96 pages long. I've seen multiple covers for this one. This isn't necessarily the most appealing version, but it's the one that I own, so it "feels right" to me. LOL



Mystères à l'école : nouvelles This is a novel-length book, but instead of being one story, it contains short stories. Choose one and read it with your class, or divide them into small groups to explore several of the stories on their own with older, more capable students. 



La Maîtresse donne trop de devoirs - This book is listed as 96 pages as well. I haven't checked it out (yet!) but I like that it looks more current than some options. 




Un chien à l’école des gars - This one could also go under the heading above "Differences and Fitting In" It's much shorter than the initial "L'école des gars" novel, as it's listed as a "Premier roman." The main character is the second girl to join the titular school, and she has Cerebral Palsy, so she comes with a guide dog and uses assistive technology to communicate. It's also under 100 pages, with some pictures.




I hope this list has helped you feel prepared! Feel free to drop a comment below if your favourite title for the first week back to school is missing.

I wish you have a very smooth and enjoyable back-to-school transition!