This story serves up a delightful recipe for a children's book: take one adorable tale of Parisian mice who want to win the prize for the best cheese soup in France, add a full serving of the whimsical illustrations of Marie LeTourneau, mix in a dash of French language and a sprinkling of Parisian café culture, and voilà! We have The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frères (Bistro of Seven Brothers).
With many basic French words cleverly woven into the story, readers will absorb the language without even realizing it. There is a pronunciation guide at the front of the book, and directions in the back to this website for the famous cheese soup recipe!
"Theillustrations are wonderful, the reader will pick up a few words of French, and there is a feminist-mouse (femousenist?) point made."- Books Worth Giving By Daniel Pinkwater, Wondertime Magazine
"Withfanciful illustrations, an amusing gastronomical story and everyday French words and phrases effortlessly incorporated into a primarily English text, this is an engaging introduction to French culture and language. There's even a pronunciation guide and, on the publisher's website, a recipe for Chef Marcel's delicious cheese soup. Ooh la la!"- 50 Must Read Books for Kids, Atlanta Parent
"Budding foodies will salivate, and the Gallic touches add a droll flavor."- Kirkus
"Withher lively text and expressive illustrations, Marie LeTourneau has created the recipe for a winning picture book, liberally spiced with French phrases and sprinkled with a helpful pronunciation guide."- Washington Parent
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 105 members
Mice in France. I couldn't create a better children's book. This was wonderful! Charming, and engaging! It had laughable moments that made me giggle like a young child and I also found myself seeing some new perspectives on life.
My food-obsessed third-grader liked this better than Disney’s Ratatouille. This mouse family has a restaurant with a reputation to maintain! Of course, when the food critic comes for a visit and dad is still at the market, everyone freaks out. Everyone except little sister, Michelle, who serenely folds the napkins—and fixes up the soup. There is a lesson here that everyone can contribute, regardless of age, size, or gender. The illustrations are so much fun, especially in the frenzy of preparation for the food critic. This one is definitely worth a snuggle with your favorite reading buddy. Possible Objectionable Material: Young people using sharp knives and hot stoves, unsupervised and maybe not too safely. Who Might Like This Book: Food fans, dance fans, mouse fans, those who like a good story where the overlooked family member saves the day. This review also posted at http://biblioquacious.blogspot.com/2016/05/a-mixed-bag-of-picture-books.html Thank you, NetGalley, for the e-book review copy.
The Mice of Bistro des Sept Freres is a fun and sweet story of 7 brothers who make the best cheese soup in all of Paris. When the number one food critic comes to visit, the mice can't seem to get the recipe right, and their little sister comes to the rescue and saves the day. I enjoyed reading this story. I believe it would appeal to primary aged student. The illustrations are wonderful and help to aid in understanding the story. A great read; and a great story where an unsuspecting little mouse becomes her brothers' hero.
The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frère is a cute book showing that the female members of a family have just as much to offer as the males. At the Bistrot des Sept Frère Chef Marcel and his 7 sons and 1 daughter all have their jobs to do. They all have their own personalities and interests and it seems to work well. The Bistrot des Sept Frère has won the award for the best Cheese Soup in France for many years. There is a secret ingredient known only to Chef Marcel. When he receives a telegram telling him that Judge Le Whisk will be arriving in an hour to taste his soup, he panics because he does not have any of the secret ingredient. He rushes out to buy more and leaves his children in charge. One disaster after another occurs and there is 5 minutes to go before the judge arrives and Chef Marcel is still not back. Petite Michelle quietly goes about sorting things out and adds her own ingredients to the soup. When Judge Le Whisk tries the soup he is thrilled. It is even better this year. When Chef Marcel finds out Petite Michelle has done he is thrilled. He changes the name and adds une soeur. This book shows that the quiet, forgotten child is often the one that comes out of the shadows and saves the day or at least makes a wonderful contribution. As another reviewer said, "That Petite Michelle emerges from the shadows and proves herself to be calm and capable in a way that her father and older siblings cannot was a wonderful and enjoyable turn that will leave children feeling vicariously empowered." The illustrations were great and you could look at them over and over and see something different every time.
I couldn't help but read this with a French accent, and thanks to the pronunciation guide, I may have actually done a good job! The illustrations are superb--so very cute and fanciful that my smile started in my heart and worked its way up to my face. The storyline is endearing and just goes to show that "mistakes" aren't always such a bad thing. Now, if I could just work up the nerve to try to the soupe au fromage recipe for myself... There's a handy link to it in the back of the book. Lagniappe!