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First book… and counting

Bun E. Learns to Count in French
Bun E. Learns to Count in French

Learning to read is one of the hallmarks of a young child’s life. And it’s a task to which Cynthia Wildridge wants to contribute. But Wildridge wants to help children learn to read – in a second language.

The first book in a series designed to help children learn French, this hardcover book with companion CD details the experiences of Bun E. on an actual trip to France. Illustrations by Wildridge’s niece, now 11 years old, show how the rabbit learns to count in French by counting things he sees in France. For example, the number seven, or sept, shows Bun E. taking home seven baguettes, a popular bread in France.
Wildridge cites the benefits of learning more languages, and that French is the second most popular language on Internet websites. “It’s just amazing the kind of opportunities you can have if you can communicate with people.”

—Mike Myers
Staff Writer and Photographer
The Washington Times-Herald


A bilingual book for the very young* (translation)

Cynthia Wildridge inscribed, Saturday afternoon, at the Librairie Ancienne and Moderne, her bilingual book, Bun E. apprend à compter (Bun E. Learns to Count in French), written for the very youngest audience. Cynthia S. Wildridge, an American originally from Indiana…has constructed a lovely little book. . .which is the first in the series, THE TALES OF BUN E. BONIFACE ®.

It tells the story of a little rabbit who has come to spend the summer in France to learn to count. The book, illustrated by Alyssa A. Wildridge, Cynthia’s niece, therefore begins with the number 1 to end at 10. The author knew how to skillfully find a corresponding French name for each number: for example, 4 is illustrated by four paws on a cat (the French word for the number 4, “quatre,” sounds similar to the English word “cat”); 6 by six fleurs-de-lys; and 9 by nine eggs.

“I wrote this book in Les Cerqueux-sous-Passavant,” indicated Cynthia Wildridge, “where I spend several days each year. It is a book for children, in which I have also taken care to make color associations. It is for the English-speaking public, but I have also chosen words which resemble each other in the two languages; for example: carrot, baguette, or fruit; for me, it’s a way to be able to share a language with a child.”

A CD is coupled with the book. Parents will thus have the opportunity to offer their little darlings a super gift for the holidays at the end of the year.

—Bertrand GILET
La Nouvelle République
Tours, FRANCE  *(translated from the French)


Cynthia Wildridge’s charming book. . .

Cynthia Wildridge’s charming book Bun E. Learns to Count in French (Bun E. apprend à compter) is a variation on the classic children’s counting book.

In this version, the author not only reinforces number concepts with illustrations of each of the numbers, she also aims to teach chidren how to say each number – and a good deal more – in French. The illustrations, lovingly set forth by Alyssa Wildridge, aged ten, feature large colorful numbers on the left hand page and the requisite number of objects on the facing page. A few of the objects are decidedly French, such as “six fleurs-de-lys,” but most are ones any child would recognize: carrots, flowers, fruit, and chocolate eggs. Thus, the author teaches some other simple French words as well as the numbers one to ten.

Scan_Bun-E_CD_WebA CD is included with the book featuring the text in English, French, and finally, in song. The sprightly song, with violin and piano accompaniment, is pitched in C major with the vocal range mostly between A below middle C to the A above. However, it extends to F above high C at the end, making the range quite large for young children. There are also numerous accidentals as the song modulates briefly several times. Little ones may just enjoy listening to the song and having it reinforce the French pronunciation of the words. A clever use of a bit of the French national anthem will amuse third through fifth graders, and they should also be able to sing the song accurately.

This book is lovingly written and produced. Information in the frontispiece indicates that it is Book I of a series. Let’s hope there are many more of these delightful volumes.

—Ruth Boshkoff
Associate editor, Kodaly ENVOY magazine
Nationally recognized composer and educator
Director, Indiana University Children’s Choir (Indiana University School of Music)

 The Tales of Bun E. Boniface

1026-Book Cover-Names-300x200Cynthia Wildridge captures the essence of conveying the beauty of language to youngsters in Bun E. Learns to Count in French (Bun E. Apprend à Compter). Ms. Wildridge and her niece, Alyssa, creatively combine illustrations and illuminated text with music, song and spoken words on the accompanying CD. The book’s strong pedagogical elements repeat and reinforce written/visual and aural comprehension. This kind of authentic production elicits a solid oral expression of French words and phrases. What better method for novice language acquisition? There is even a musical correlation between notes being sung and numbers being read!

Older readers will also appreciate the exquisite quality of sound reproduction on the accompanying CD. The caliber of poetic lyrics abounds and offers a charming catalyst for word and song retention. Parents, grandparents, and teachers will applaud and embrace this original text and will surely anticipate a prompt tome to follow in the series.

—Monica Daucourt
French Department Head
Hillcrest High School, Dallas, TX

Critique_Paris-ZurbanCD-Livre
Dès 3 ans

Bun E. Learns to Count in French –
Bun E. apprend à compter

Cynthia S. Wildridge est la maman d’Alyssa A. Wildridge, 10 ans aujourd’hui. Elles ont, ensemble, conçu et illustré l’histoire de Bun E. (pronouncer bunny), un petit lapin américain qui apprend à compter en français. L’animal sert ainsi de prétexte à une numération bilingue rigolote : un petit nez rouge, deux oreilles à pois… sept baguettes dans un panier sur la bicyclette… et bien sûr, récompense méritée, dix belles carottes. L’ouvrage serait tout simplement mignon s’il n’était pas accompagné d’un CD. La déclinaison audio de l’album avec musique et conteurs est d’une efficacité redoutable. N’hésitez pas, offrez-le à vos anglicistes en herbe et soutenez cette jolie initiative familiale.

“The Tales of Bun E. Boniface,” Cynthia S. Wildridge et Alyssa A. Wildridge (Limestock Press).

—VANESSA ZOCCHETTI
Zurban No. 179
Paris, FRANCE


Un livre bilingue pour les tout-petits

Cynthia Wildridge dédicaçait, samedi après-midi, à la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (à Saumur), son livre bilingue Bun E. apprend å compter – Bun E. Learns to Count in French, écrit à l’attention du tout jeune public. Cynthia S. Wildridge, américaine originaire de Indiana… a bâti un joli petit livre… qui est le premier de la série, LES CONTES DE BUN E. BONIFACE ®.”

Il raconte l’histoire d’un petit lapin venu passer l’été en France pour apprendre à compter. Le livre, illustré par Alyssa A. Wildridge, la nièce de Cynthia, commence donc au chiffre 1 pour s’arrêter å 10. L’auteur a su habilement trouver, en regard de chaque chiffre, un nom français correspondant : par exemple, quatre ouvre quatre (cat en anglais) pattes sur cat (le chat), six sur six fleurs de lys, et neuf sur neufs oeufs.

“J’ai écrit ce livre aux Cerqueux-sous-Passavant, indique Cynthia Wildridge, où je passe quelques jours chaque année. C’est un livre pour les enfants, oü j’ai soigné aussi les couleurs. C’est pour le public anglophone, mais j’ai choisi des mots qui se ressemblent dans les deux langues, par exemple : carrot, baguette, ou fruit ; pour moi, c’est un moyen de faire partager une langue å un enfant.”

Un disque est couplé au livre. Les parents auront ainsi l’occasion d’offrir à leurs petits bouts de choux un chouette cadeau pour les fêtes de fin d’année.

—Bertrand GILET
La Nouvelle République
Tours, FRANCE


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