Bilingual books for children by Marion Banks

By Nora Parminter   |   Photojournalist   |
Thursday 16th June 2022 9:38 am
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Marion Banks with her children’s books.
Marion Banks with her children’s books. (Crediton Courier )

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LOCAL author, Marion Banks has written and published two bilingual books for children aged from two upwards, “A Year Full of Colour - The grand departure” (illustrated by Gozia Kozdron) and Une Année Tout en Couleur - Le grand depart” (illustrated by Robin Guillet).

Marion, who is French, has been living in England for the past 13 years, the last nine months at North Tawton, and has two children, Margot (5) and Arlo (2). The inspiration for writing her books came from her son and daughter and their multi-lingual family.

The stories are based around the 12 months of the year and the reader follows the character of a little fox cub and her/his family in different countries. 

The idea behind the book is to teach children about English and French culture and traditions, and to discover how people live in their own country -

finding out about the celebrations they enjoy throughout the year. 

The structure of each book consists of 12 double-pages, each covering a month of the year.

Each month is linked to a colour such as January which is white for snow, March is green because of spring coming, July is blue for the sea and November is brown for autumn, the dead leaves, the chestnuts and hedgehogs.

Each double-page spread has nine words of vocabulary, a total of 108 words in the book.

Each word is linked to a subject, such as, transport, shapes or nature. 

The words come with a written pronunciation in both English and French.

A question is asked every month to encourage the reader to interact with the story and inspire them to start a conversation. 

Marion told the Courier: “As a French teacher, and also a mum raising bilingual children, I am a firm supporter of the research that shows that it is beneficial to start teaching foreign languages as early as possible.

“This not only develops children’s language ability, but also opens their minds to the world and other cultures, which can only be positive as they grow up.

“The more words children learn, the more neurons their brain will develop, which helps to increase their cognitive ability, not only linguistically, but also more generally.

“This book can be read at home, but can also be used by teachers as an educational resource in schools.

“It covers a wide range of vocabulary and can be used on a monthly basis.

“The idea is that children are excited to ‘meet’ the characters in the book and see what they are up to every month. 

“Both books can be used to compare the cultures and traditions between France and England through the year and the seasons.

“My hope is that these books will give children and adults the desire to learn more French and/or English, to be curious about life and to inspire them to travel and discover the world!”

Both books are available by email at: [email protected] on Facebook at Mamie Soupe or from The Bookery on Crediton High Street.

Nora Parminter

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