Les Vacances Du Petit Nicolas
By René Goscinny
Review by Esther (French and Russian)
As a popular French children’s book, Les Vacances du Petit Nicolas is ideal for anyone studying French at school. I started reading this book in Year 11 and was soon hooked on the series. A young boy called “Nicolas” describes his holiday adventures with his friends and all the mischief he gets up to with them! He often ends up in trouble but is adorably cheeky.
The world through the eyes of a small boy is very different to how we see it and in Nicolas’ world, where grown-ups and children are like different species, daily adventures seem even more thrilling. His cute naivety is present throughout the books and will leave you thinking about similar memories from your own childhood. One thing we can all relate to is his sadness on the last day of the summer holidays!
Reading in a different language can seem scary at first but if you approach it in the right way and with a bit of patience, you will have gained some great skills for studying a language. When I first read this book, there were some words I didn’t understand (as well as lots of child-like colloquial language.) I found the best thing to do in this situation was to look up a new word only if it kept being repeated and was important to the text, otherwise I found myself looking at a dictionary more than the actual book!
This book won’t fail to make you laugh and there are brilliant sketches drawn by the famous French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempe. If this leaves you wanting more, there has even been a film made under the same title.
Les Vacances Du Petit Nicolas by René Goscinny
Try checking the availability of this book at your school or local library or explore second hand bookshops and websites. You may also wish to purchase from either Amazon or Blackwell’s.