Ou est la bibliothèque? French Resources at Toronto Public Library for Kids

September 28, 2015 | Kate S.

Comments (6)

Last night my daughter asked me to name all of the colours in French, and I realized how poor my French skills are. Many Ontario students, like my daughter, are starting French Immersion this year, and I am already learning that it can be a challenge for parents who don’t speak the language. My French education growing up consisted mostly of watching old episodes of Téléfrançais, so while I can say “I am a Pineapple” (Je suis une ananas), with great confidence, I don’t think that will be much assistance with my daughter’s homework. Luckily, Toronto Public Library has some amazing resources to help students and parents. There are items available at all levels from early board books and picture books all the way up to adult fiction & non-fiction. New French items are constantly being added to the collection, and new adult and children's French fiction are highlighted on the website.

French/English Dictionaries
Today I will be checking out a French Picture dictionary, to help with basic French vocabulary like colours and numbers:

                             Berlitz French Picture Dictionary    French-English Picture Dictionary

French Language CDs & DVDs
Listening to French music, and watching French DVDs can help with learning vocabulary and pronunciation:

Titou le Lapinou  Berceuses Hommage a Charles Aznavour  Toupie et Binou    Caillou

French Audiobook Kits
Kits come with books and CDs, so that children can read along as they listen. Kits with stories and songs are available at varying reading levels.

Chante avec moi  Les Habits neufs de l'empereur  Au Revoir Blaireau  La meme et la mouche

French Language Learning Kits, CDs, and Books
Items classified as language learning focus on learning a new language step by step. They are available at different levels, and in many formats including, CDs, DVDs, eBooks and books.

Lyric Language live!  Teach me French  French for Children  Une Deux Trois

French Databases and Online Tools
Databases and eBooks are available through the website using your library card. Why not check out some French eBooks from home?
Mabiblio numerique
MaBiblioNumérique has French-language eBooks available from Franco-Canadian and some European publishers. It includes titles for adults, teens and children.

Overdrive kids

OverDrive eBooks & eAudiobooks for kids, has French material available, as well as material for helping to learn French.


Programs in French
Attending programs in French can also be an excellent way to familiarize your child, and yourself, with French books, songs and rhymes. You can find French program listings under Programs and Classes, French, Children. There are French storytimes, and even a French Book Club for ages 9+ at Danforth/ Coxwell Branch. You can also send an email to [email protected], to be added to a list to receive information about upcoming French programs at TPL.

Additional Resources for Parents

While they say that children in French Immersion can excel even if their parents don’t speak French, I’d like to be able to understand a little bit more, and hopefully be able to assist with homework. There are resources available for adults learning French as well, which I plan to use. There are plenty of French Language Learning Books, CDs, DVDs, and online resources available. Why not try out Mango Languages to get started?

Mango Languages

Mango Languages is a great database for learning French and other languages. Practice conversational skills, vocabulary, and more!

Bonne chance!