I took French throughout high school and while I can't remember much beyond "A croissant with ham and cheese please" (un croissant avec jabon et frommage s'il vous plait), I can speak with an accent that would put Juliette Binoche on alert.
And so the first thing I noticed about this new children's book, Coco Le Cochon, is the title. Oui! Francais!
Not only does it make it feel like a fancy children's book...it soooo much fun to say (with the right accent s'il vous plait).
Luckily for us all, the book is NOT written in French. At least the copy I was given is not.
Lesson One: Don't take your pedigree for granted
The book starts out with a little history - Coco comes from a long line of successful truffle hunters and so he feels no need to actually LEARN how to hunt for truffles. He is lazy in school, at home, and often mean to his friends.
Lesson Two: Don't steal, especially from someone smaller than you
During the big truffle hunt Coco realizes he has no clue where to find truffles. Everyone around his is finding them. When he accidentally runs into a much smaller pig and knocks over his basket, he takes one of the truffles and claims he found it himself. The people of the town know he's lying because Coco said he found it under a Pine tree (and everyone knows truffles don't grow under pine trees).
Lesson Three: Promptly admit when you are wrong or things can get worse
The Mayor banishes Coco (ok, a little harsh for a kid book but it's not like we parents haven't had that thought once or twice) who is sent to live with his uncle and consider what he did. Luckily he comes back better, remorseful, and smarter, because the little pig has gone through a tremendous growth spurt and could eat Coco in one bite.
How Many Thumbs?
PROS: Very cute and colorful photos that the Twofer explored in detail. Story covers valuable life lessons.
CONS: I'm not sure my kids understood the value of a truffle hunter as opposed to something more mainstream like a fisherman...but we'll see if any questions arise tomorrow after they've slept on it.
Bottom line, Coco Le Cochon got my kids thinking about the lessons and asking questions. So I'm giving it a Twofer Thumbs Up for a cute story that helps parents talk to their kids about morals and ethics.
To learn more and purchase Coco Le Cochon ($10.95 for a limited time) visit the website http://cocolecochon.com.
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