Kyla May and Zanni Louise, Paris Takes Over the World, Scholastic, June 2021, 128 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781743837412
Paris Takes Over the World is the first in a new series from Kyla May and Zanni Louise. Paris is finally old enough to go with her travel-blogger parents as they roam the world, and she is going to record all her international experiences in her diary. The very first place she visits is her favourite city in the world, Paris.
Readers follow Paris as she enjoys the sights, sounds and flavours of Paris for the first time. She meets a friend, Amélie and together they search the city looking for Amélie’s lost french bulldog, Éclair. Their search takes them to some of the most famous landmarks in Paris: the Medici Fountain, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower. Paris is also introduced to some culinary delights such as macarons, escargot, éclairs, and a buttery croissant.
This series is designed to engage newly independent readers who might also be enjoying series such as Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush, Evie and Pog or the oldies like Ella and Olivia. It is fast paced, liberally illustrated with lots of colour and lots of fun fonts. The plot device of having Paris and Amélie searching high and low all over Paris for a lost dog is obvious to an adult but will really help young readers. I know that my kids don’t really love a day of sight-seeing alone; giving the characters a purpose to their exploration of the city will make readers more interested in the places they visit.
It was also a great idea to include a few French words and phrases for readers to pick up. Kids are often very curious about other languages and even knowing just a few simple words will help them remain engaged in the book.
I am looking forward to seeing how the series progresses. The 5-8 year old audience has such a wide range of reading skills and interests that it can sometimes be difficult to find that one series that will hook them on reading, so any new offering will be welcomed by librarians, teachers and parents. This one could just be that series your kid is waiting for.
Reviewed by Cherie Bell