A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Oodles of French words and phrases in both text, illustrations, and glossary at the back offer phonetic pronunciation as well as translation. Some objects in the pictures are labeled, such as la lune, les moutons, and ma maison (the moon, sheep, and my house). Lots of particularlry French things are referenced and pictured, including the TGV (high-speed train), the Gare de Lyon train station, the Cote d'Azure (French Riviera), truffle hunting, playing boules, the Tour de France, artists Cézanne, Matisse, and Van Gogh, and French ice cream and sorbet flavors, including pistache (pistachio) and lavande (lavender). Gives a glimpse of some of the ways Provence is special and how the region is different from Paris.
Before you travel, it's good to learn a bit about what folks in the area you're going to visit do. But the magic of a place doesn't necessarily come from doing what everybody else is doing; it may come from doing something you want to do.
Positive Role Models
Hudson reads up on Provence before starting his vacation there so he can make the most of his trip. He's upbeat, curious, adventurous, and open to trying what the locals -- both canine and human -- do. He's friendly, paints portraits of his dog friends, and sends them a postcard when he gets back home to Paris. His "mom" is kind and loving and helps talk him out of his frustration at not being good at "Provençal things" by encouraging him to just do what he likes.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hudson in Provence is the lively sequel to Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-Pat Dog, in which an adorable terrier named Hudson learns to speak French and make friends in Paris, where his human American "mom" has taken him to live. Here, he goes on vacation in Provence and tries out some of the activities local working dogs do -- herding sheep, sniffing out truffles -- as he aims to find "the magic of Provence" he's read about. French vocabulary and phrases appear throughout, and "le petit dictionnnaire" at the back offers helpful phonetic pronunciation as well as translation.
Is It Any Good?
There's lots more for Hudson to do in this lively sequel. There's also more solid information about France and French life, plus more French words (this time with the articles la, le, and les in front of them) and phrases to learn. At the heart of HUDSON IN PROVENCE is the adorable, curious, enthusiastic, determined, upbeat pup. And author-illustrator Jackie Clark Mancuso's colorful and engaging gouache illustrations, filled with local details and French vocabulary, offer lots for young readers to pore over.
There's also a valuable message amid all the animal antics: When Mom notices that Hudon's feeling like a failure at doing "Provenҫal things," she tells him, "You think the magic is going to come from doing what everybody else is doing? What if it comes from doing something you want to do?"
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.