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Family Road Trips Are Better With Books

While summertime road trips are a cornerstone of American family vacations, the countless juice boxes, leftover take out boxes, tears, sweat and cries are a harsh reality of any drive pushing more than two hours, especially with children on board. The alphabet and license plate games only go so far before boredom hits again … This year indulge in a more exciting road trip of the mind with these imaginative stories for you and your children.


Nicholas on Vacation by René Gosciny and Jean-Jacques Sempé (Phaidon, 2006)Nicholas, the beloved cheeky French schoolboy, goes to the sea during the summer holidays. There are fishing trips, complicated games of miniature golf and a whole new gang of friends with whom Nicholas can get into trouble.

Ariol, Just a Donkey Like You and Me by Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant (Papercutz, 2013)Ariol is your everyday tween donkey. He lives in the suburbs with his mom and dad. His best friend is a pig. He’s in love with a beautiful cow in his class. His teacher is a dog. His gym teacher is a huge rooster. In short, Ariol is just like you and me.

Daydreams of a Solitary Hamster by Astrid Desbordes and Pauline Martin (Enchanted Lion Books, 2010)Slightly self-important but endearing Hamster keeps a diary full of revealing exaggerations. This funny, ironic, and philosophical story contains all sorts of daydreamer delights from a mole who drinks tea and takes up novel writing to a snail who ponders the meaning of life.

Ballad by Blexbolex (Enchanted Lion Books, 2013)Every night a child walks along a path between her school and house. Every night the story is retold. Each time, the path becomes longer and more complicated, made of strange encounters and little incidents to weave a tale built by the imaginative bridges of the child’s mind.

  • Too hot, too cold, too angry, too quiet, too busy, too lonely? We have the solutions here! Fun, fear and passion await. Each week, we will post thematic lists of great titles so you can let your bookworming desires run wild. Follow us on Twitter @FrenchBooksUSA