Babel Book Bag: Book Advent Calendar
It's a bumper edition of our Babel Book Bag, as we count down to Christmas with the first half of our Book Advent Calendar!
We’ve heard lots of chatter in our classes this month about making advent calendars from books. Sounds good, eh? The idea is pretty simple really: you wrap up a book for every day of advent (ours will be wrapped in brown paper and string, which Cate and Dominique are both dotty about, and stamped with the dates like a library card!), and every evening you snuggle up with your little ones, unwrap a new book and read it together. Since one of our mantras is, “Read together, it’s the beginning of everything,” we like this new trend a LOT.

Le Facteur du Pere Noel French book Babel Babies
So, here is the first half of the Babel Babies countdown of our favourite books to include in your advent calendar (second dozen to follow in December's blog!). Some of them are festive, and some of them are just timeless classics we love reading with our little linguists.

Say Hello

If you’ve not seen this book at our sessions yet, it’s a cracker and a great way to introduce the concept that people speak lots of languages all around us - you just have to walk down the street! Follow Manny the dog and Carmelita on their way to visit Abuela, and say ciao, bonjour, and hola to everyone on the way!

Buy Say Hello

Où est mon Père Noël?

Kick off your festive countdown with a search for Père Noël! Does he have a fluffy hat or fuzzy gloves? Find out in this baby and toddler-friendly board book.

Buy Où est mon Père Noël?

Nous allons a la chasse a l'ours book cover
La chasse à l'ours

This is Cate's 16-month-old son Quinn’s absolutely most treasured book and has been for several months. He’s started saying PLOUF and really enjoying the sounds, as well as spotting the dog on each page. The rhythm is so memorable, and it’s one you can keep reading again and again with lots of drama for the VITE! Sortons de la grotte! page at the end.

Buy Chasse à l'lours

Das ist nicht mein Schneemann Babel Babies German book blog
Das ist nicht mein Schneemann

A wintery touchy-feely classic. Our favourite German word is Handschuhe - hand shoes! German is so practical.

Buy Das ist nicht mein Schneemann

Il fait comment le caméléon?
Il fait comment le caméléon?

What noise does the chameleon make? The children LOVE this story at our Babel Babies sessions, and have great fun making all of the animal noises as we try to work out what a chameleon says. Highly recommended and tried and tested by lots of our Bambinos!

Buy Il fait comment le caméléon?

Ou est mon pingouin Babel Babies French book blog
Où est mon pingouin?

Little ones love a penguin, and ours are no exception. Here’s another touchy-feely book that will have your Bambinos saying ‘tip tap, tip tap!’ all around the kitchen. There is also a cute gift box with an ACTUAL PENGUIN* included here!

*Just a soft toy, not a live penguin!

Buy Où est mon pingouin?

Il piccolo Bruco Maisazio book cover Italian Babel Babies
Il piccolo Bruco Maisazio

An essential addition to any bookshelf, Eric Carle’s colourful classic is even more fun in Italian! We particularly love the Saturday page, and the fact that a lollipop is a ‘lecca lecca’ or ‘licky licky’ in Italian!

Buy Il piccolo Bruco Maisazio

Ou est mon ours blanc book cover Babel Babies
Où est mon ours blanc?

More Usborne fun with the French That’s Not My Polar Bear. His feet are too bumpy!

Buy Où est mon ours blanc?

Le Facteur du Pere Noel French book Babel Babies
Le Facteur du Père Noël

This our dream book: it has envelopes! And little letters! And it’s so beautiful! Will we let the children open the letters this year? Better get a copy for mummy to read too…

Buy Le Facteur du Père Noël

Enfin la paix French book Babel Babies
Enfin la paix

Poor old Papa Ours! Where will he get to sleep? And will he manage to catch 40 winks before the alarm goes off? Oh la la! Quinn adores the living room clock saying ‘tic tac, tic tac, ding COUCOU!’ Lots of fun, and at less than £4 it is a very reasonable way to get a little bit of French into your Christmas.

Buy Enfin la paix

Les premieres chansons de noel French sound book Babel Babies
Les premières chansons de Noël

These sound books are a recent discovery for us, and a completely brilliant way of getting some native speakers into your house! Quinn loves pressing the little buttons to make the songs work, and Arwen (age 4) studies them and starts singing along in French all by herself. Totally fab, and worth every penny.

Buy Les premières chansons de Noël