Children’s publishing, with more than 65 million copies sold in 2022, remains a heavyweight in the French book market.
According to GfK, this niche represents one book out of four purchased in France. Illustrated books remain the mainstay of sales, covering 55% of the children’s publishing market.
Here are the latest releases and previews from some major French children’s publishers.
In A Funny Monday by Jeanne Macaigne, Nena, displeased with her fate as a child – the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! – offers a little ant that runs on her hand to switch life with her. Then, the child discovers the hard, laborious life in the anthill, and the ant discovers that of a child, admittedly comfortable, but in which you have to go to school every day. Problems begin when they want to make a difference, to bring a bit of ant strictness in class or a bit of human poetry in the anthill… Overflowing with details, Jeanne Macaigne’s illustrations take us away. The illustrator sometimes flirts with the comic book genre and has fun comparing those two universes that everything opposes.
In That Day by Pierre-Emmanuel Lyet, one afternoon the grandma is no longer here, and the grandson escapes to the countryside. Then begins a dreamlike stroll, where splendid scenes of snow-covered nature are intertwined with the memories of a dearly loved grandmother: the course of the river reminds him of her long hair, the tangled trees her knobbly and old fingers…
This book could be sad, and yet it is the opposite: the beauty of Pierre-Emmanuel Lyet’s line, his shining colours enhance the little child’s mourning and transform it into a joyful and universal ode in memory of those we love.
Mortelle Adèle is a comic book series created by Antoine Dole under the pseudonym Mr Tan. It deals with strong themes such as the right to be different, the development of creativity, but also the fear of growing up.
Among the latest releases, Debout, les Bizarres! (Wake up, Weirdos!). In this third novel, the heroine with the red pigtails conceives a new invention to propel herself into the future, far from the homework given by the teacher and the vegetables cooked by her parents! In the meantime, Adèle finds herself face to face with a strange babysitter who loves cookies, is passionate about her inventions, and orders her to cultivate her seed of weirdness… A joyful novel, full of surprises and twists.
Face de Beurk! (Yuck face!) is the last publication in the series, currently the number one in Amazon sales, for the best humorous books for children. Whether it’s in the playground or at home, it’s out of the question for Adèle to let herself be teased or stepped on! No matter who wants her to keep quiet, this little queen intends to say everything she thinks.
Albin Michel Jeunesse
At the beginning of February, Albin Michel Jeunesse published a new volume in the Rosemonde series by Didier Levy and Ronan Badel. In Apprentis super-héros! (Superheroes in training!) the lively protagonist this time uses all her energy to transform herself into a real superheroine! All the books in the series investigate important topics in children’s daily lives, such as building self-esteem.
Another February’s novelty is Un Morse pas si banal (A not-so-ordinary walrus), by the author and illustrator Dasha Dimitrova. A sensitive book to discover polar life and to think about the strength of our differences.
La Martinière Jeunesse
A new world by Nathaniel H’limi (March 2023) is expected as a picture book to offer to all young fathers. An adventure told with poetry and humour about the marvellous arrival of a child, in which all young dads will see themselves. A nice reading time to share with the children, always eager to hear about their life as a baby.
Little Fox becomes a big brother (May 2023) by Sophie Ledesma is a tender and funny book to accompany the arrival of a baby. It is the Fifth title of the series Little Fox, which sold 40,000 copies in 6 languages.
A beautiful picture book for the little ones in five Pantone shades and a film to filter the red colour and see how the hidden images appear. An original, interactive and educational treasure hunt to peacefully accompany such a particular moment.
Curated by Andrea De Amicis