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Reader's Favorite

Reviewed By:

Barbara Fanson

Review Rating:

5 Stars - Congratulations on your 5-star review! 

Reviewed By Barbara Fanson for Readers’ Favorite

Bonjour! Let’s Learn French is an English language children’s story that introduces French words and terms. It’s a wonderful way for English-speaking children to be exposed to French words. At the back of the book, there are exercises so children can practice their new words. Author and illustrator Judy Martialay has created an excellent story and workbook to practice your new French words. She has even created a skit so students or friends can act out a play in French! You can also sing the song “Ah! Mon beau château !” Bonjour! Let’s Learn French also provides instructions on how to create impressionistic artwork with crayons. At the end of the book, a review summarizes all the French words introduced in the book. The book also shows how to type French … notice there is a space before an exclamation mark in French sentences, like this ! But no space before exclamation marks in English sentences!

Beautiful, colorful illustrations adorn the pages of this children’s picture book aimed at grades 3 to 6. I especially like the four small illustrations on a page—great technique—it’s not done very often! Author Judy Martialay has also drawn all the colorful illustrations for the picture book and all the exercises. Bonjour! Let’s Learn French is a complete book with story, pictures, a song, skit, drawing lesson, and a summary for learning French. A must-have book for home and school. But wait, there’s more: an audio version of the book is also available! This is a complete book for teachers with exercises and multiple medium practice.


Again, the author uses a clever way to introduce a language (this time French) to children and parents as well. The use of English and French in the story, makes it easier for the reader to understand the story, and to learn the vocabulary. I especially love the use of soft colors and beautiful drawings. I wish I had this book when my children were little, now I recommend books like this one to parents wishing to raise their children's awareness of the many languages and cultures in the world, a must today. I also loved the inclusion of cultural notes about France and French culture, as well as the audio resource available on the polyglottkids.com page. As a bilingual librarian, I highly recommend this book. It is wonderful, let's see what other wonderful book she will do next. I can't wait. Both, this book, and her previous one in Spanish as gifts, and I have added them to the children's library collection, I am delighted to write this review because language learning is a must in today's world, and very important to me.


Bonjour!—Judy Martialay

Review by Virginia B. Levine, Ph.D.

SUNY Cortland


Judy Martialay has done it again!  Through the clever framework of an uncomplicated story line, in this case an airplane flight to France, the author/illustrator introduces the readers—children, parents and grandparents alike—to the world of early language learning.

As a former professor of World Languages, I was quite naturally interested in reading Judy’s latest accomplishment for myself.  Judy graciously sent me a complimentary copy, and after reading it, I offered to submit a review of Bonjour!.

This book provides far more than an engaging story line for 6-10 year-olds. It is a virtual toolkit for second language acquisition that can be used effectively by all readers and learners.  The juxtaposition of English and French within a straightforward storyline provides an unfettered ease of context as the reader learns to equate vocabulary in both languages.  The audio portion of Bonjour!, (available at: http://polyglotkidz.com), ensures accuracy of pronunciation, and the practice activities reinforce the vocabulary presented.  Cultural nuggets about Francophone countries, French foods, flag, kings, queens and everyday life serve to open the eyes and minds of young learners to another culture.  Judy has even thought to include a brief script to enable student readers to interact using newly acquired French vocabulary.  Colorful illustrations, drawn by Judy, are beautifully executed and represent the Impressionist art exercise perfectly.

Bonjour! is sure to appeal to the curiosity of those young and old.  Deceptively simple in tone and presentation, the book draws in its readers, enticing them to learn more about the French language and culture.

Bravo to Judy Martialay for another job well done.  Along with Pete the Pilot, she has successfully taken her readers on a wonderful early language journey.  Bon Voyage to future readers!



Bookroom Reviews

Dick Leonardo for Bookroom reviews 11/13/17 Here is something different. Have you ever thought about your child learning a foreign language? If so I have a nice book here for you. Judy Martialay makes learning a new language fun with an easy to read story. Travel to France with Pete the Pilot while learning an assortment of french words. What’s cool is it’s not just new words but little tidbits about the country of France and how they live and a little history. The book is also very nicely filled with colorful Illustrations by the author herself to bring the book to life. I like the little skit written into the book to let the kids practice what they learned. Then there is http://www.polyglotkidz.com/ to visit for the audio. This is great resource not only for the French book but Judy’s other book ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish


Adventuresthruwonderland blog

Another fun, educational tool for learning a new language! Judy Martialay makes learning fun with this interactive book. Using food, colors, art, and a story to make learning new words fun and easy for all ages. This book is intended for children ages 6-10 but even adults will find it fun and interesting!



Bonjour! Let's Learn French, by Judy Martilay, is a children's book that introduced the French language. It includes a story about going to the beach, a list of various illustrated French words, expressions, French Culture, and art. 

I found the book to be engaging, colorful and fun. The words speak to the children of elementary age, and help to take away the strangeness of a different language. The art is engaging, drawing interest of new learners, and will help them to associate the pictures with the words. However it is more than just a story about going to the beach. Think of it as a workbook that a young reader can take in bits and pieces. Most likely it will take a bit of practice to learn the words and pronounce them. 

Inside the book you will find a link to where you can download the full story on your computer and listen while you read the book. The music in the background makes it sound colorful. A reader (the author) talks through the story in English, while a different reader pronounces the French words. The only thing I found lacking in the book was a proper pronunciation you would typically find in parentheses after each word. This would allow the reader to work on the vocabulary without always needing a device to listen to a device. But overall, Bonjour! Let's Learn French is a charming and fun way for children to be introduced to the French language. Recommended for children ages 6-12.

Connie Withay blog

This forty-page paperback targets children ages six to twelve years old and their parents who want to learn French. With no scary scenes, the book contains some complicated wording for beginner readers. Colorful, simplistic illustrations and photographs are on most pages. A website with a downloadable audio for correct word pronunciation is available.

This book teaching about France and its culture, people, and language provides a story as well as educational tools. When Pete the Pilot flies the readers to the country, they are introduced to two children making a sand castle at the beach. At night, a snail named Louis resides as king of the sand castle until dogs run by, accidentally destroying it. The next day, the children rebuild the castle for their king snail.

Other chapters offer conversational French, the culture of France, learning to paint an impressionist painting, and a compilation of the words and phrases used throughout the book. There is an acknowledgment page at the ending.

~ Why ~
I like that this book promotes learning through a story, following it up with reiteration, repetitiveness, and practice. Having all French words in a bold font makes them easy to locate. One of the best features of this is that one can go online and download the audible book, so proper pronunciation is used when reading the French words out loud.

~ Why Not ~
Due to the long paragraphs on the pages, it would best be read to some children as it may frustrate some. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the three-syllable words. Some may find the book either too hard or simple to understand regarding French words, but it would be enjoyed greatly by those trying to learn a new language.

~ Wish ~
While the ending pages have all French words used with the French word first, having an English index alphabetically at the back might be helpful for those who need to look up a word quickly.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beginner book on learning French from an English perspective, this may be the ticket, especially if you use it with the audio version.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This product can be purchased at http://www.polyglotkidz.com

Glen Cove Record Pilot

uthor publishes second bilingual children’s book

Author Judy Martialay

Local children’s author and linguist Judy Martialay recently published her second book, presenting a new opportunity to teach children to become bilingual. Her latest book, Bonjour! Let’s Learn French, is a follow-up to the award-winning ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, and gives children ages 6 to 10 a fun way to learn basic French words and phrases at home.

“More parents are realizing that an early start to learning a foreign language has great advantages,” said Martialay, a resident of Sea Cliff. “But, only 25 percent of elementary schools, public or private, offer any kind of foreign language instruction.”

And, she added, when budgets are cut, “foreign languages are always the first thing to go.”

A retired foreign language teacher from the Bethpage School District, where she taught for more than 30 years, Martialay has been using her skills to inspire students for decades and has devoted many years to public advocacy for the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers.

Martialay has written drafts for five books in the series, which began with her two strongest foreign languages, Spanish and French. Each book takes about two years to produce, since they include Martialay’s illustrations, recipes, activities and a downloadable audio component. She has drafts of books for learning Italian, Arabic and Chinese that she hopes to “dust off and update” but for now is happy to promote the finished products.

“Children love a story,” said Martialay. “The book captivates kids with an entertaining story that teaches French and introduces them to the culture of France. There is a variety of activities that encourages them to use the French that they learned, including a skit, Culture Corner and a song.”

She said the book is written in a way that makes it easy for anyone interested in learning French, for both the children as well as the parents, grandparents or other care givers reading to them.

“I want [readers] to have a pleasant experience and get a taste for the language so that they want to continue learning,” said Martialay, who said she believes language learning in this country has “gone backwards” since she was a child.

“It’s just not a priority in this country,” she said, noting that only 16 states require high school students to study a foreign language, and many only have a two-year minimum requirement.

“Two years is not long enough to produce marketable skills,” said Martialay. “When kids learn early, they truly have a chance to become proficient.”

She believes that part of the problem could be the false perception that the rest of the world speaks English; however, she said, while millions around the world may be learning English, as much as 75 percent of the world does not speak or understand English proficiently. And she stresses that going beyond basic phrases and reaching proficiency has important benefits, including getting to know someone from another country.

“It’s very rewarding to form a personal relationship with someone—you can’t do that through an interpreter,” she said. “Having a personal bond is the basis of a good business relationship, plus when you learn a language, you learn about the customs and culture of that country.”

Down the line, she said, having proficiency in a second language can put a candidate ahead in a job, as it is one of the top eight qualities employers look for upon hiring. And, starting young is also important.

“Children up to age 12 have the capacity to acquire native pronunciation of words,” said Martialay. “And when we learn other languages, our English improves and we become smarter, with increased concentration and enhanced problem-solving skills. Also, it helps to stave off dementia by five years because the executive function [of the brain] gets a workout.”

Martialay noted that when parents show an interest in what their children are studying, it can further enhance their learning. The book comes with downloadable activity sheets, recipes and a craft, in order to help create a deeper connection to the language.

Bonjour! Let’s Learn French is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $16.99. Visit www.polyglotkidz.com to download the audio version.

The Fairview Review Winter Reading 2018

When I was a Latin student in high school, my teacher had a favorite coffee mug with the slogan, "Monolingualism can be cured" on the side. It always made me laugh, the idea that only being able to speak one language was some sort of illness that could be cured. But the idea is true, especially with tools like Martialay's book. 

Written for elementary school students, the book takes readers on an imaginary trip to France. The characters Pete the Pilot and Louis l'escargot help bring the story to life and make the learning fun. Each section of the book has a different focus, with phrases that fit the situation provided. Helpful words to introduce oneself and meet new people are followed by words one might use on a trip to one of France's lovely beaches. After the story are lists of colors, days of the week, and people and things.

To help practice, there is a play that young readers can perform. Instructions for using pastels to create an impressionistic picture, the music and lyrics to the song "Ah! Mon beau chateau!" and even a "Coin de culture" with details of French culture all work to present words and phrases in ways that capture the imagination and give them a context. At the back is a list of all the words, organized in order of their appearance in the book. There is also extended support from the website, http://www.polyglotkidz.com, which offers an audio version of the book, advice for parents, articles on learning foreign languages, activity sheets, recipes, a video to go with the art activity, and a game.

Whether you are a parent hoping to broaden your child's linguistic skills, or a teacher studying other cultures with your class - you will find Bonjour! Let's Learn French (and it's companion book, Hola! Let's Learn Spanish) a painless way to begin your journey. 

I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.


I greatly appreciate this French language learning book for children. French words are intricately woven into the charming stories in a way that gives children comprehensible bits of new language. There are engaging and relevant questions, activities, and exercises included throughout the book to help children practice their new French words and phrases in interesting ways. In addition, there are rich and interesting cultural points about geography and food in France which children will be intrigued by. Moreover, the colorful paintings, photos, and images provide a very attractive visual stimulation for the child or adult alike, and they are wisely placed throughout the book. This book leaves you wanting yet another story with more images, language, and cultural points!

Cat and Mouse reading.blogspot.co.uk

I like the way Bonjour! Let's Learn French addresses the child directly and incorporates French vocabulary within the English story at first. Linked to colourful but not overly busy illustrations, it is possible to acquire the French words within a context. The stories gradually extend the French vocabulary from single words, to phrases and a young child can identify with some of the situations within the stories, such as playing on the beach. Life in France is introduced and there are opportunities to practice and reinforce the language used within activities in different media- painting and singing. 
    Parents, grandparents and carers can share the book with their child no matter what their own knowledge of French might be. If they take advantage of the free audiobook version, they can listen to the pronunciation and stop the recording as they wish. The French vocabulary is only explained the first time it appears in the book but with repetition, the child can begin to acquire it naturally. It is also worth pointing out that there are downloadable worksheets and resources at the website Polyglotkidz.com.
Cat and Mouse say: Bonjour! 


Judy Martalay puts together a great story and incorporates an easy method for children to learn words in another tongue. The audio was easy to download and it was so fun to sit with my 8 and 10 year old and read it first without the audio companion and then with the companion so they could see how different the pronunciation was. My kids enjoyed the journey and it kept their attention the whole way through. If you are looking to introduce a second language to your child, this is a great way to go.

Normandy's Book Reviews

Book Review:
Buckle your seat belts for Pete the Pilot is not your ordinary airline pilot in the book, Bonjour! Let’s Learn French: Visit New Places and Make New Friends. While in flight to France, Pete teaches his young passengers some important French words to help them navigate around the country easier. And, that is only the beginning of the adventure. While at the beach, the children, Arlette, Jacques, Marie and Pierre unwittingly construct a special château (castle) and help make a little escargot’s (snail’s) dream of being King come true.

The beginning of the book transports the reader to France, while the following pages incorporate some lessons in elementary French language use. Ms. Martialay has added practice exercises for the reader to learn colors, objects, days of the week, art, music, and the culture to help the reader further expand in French speaking skills.  An adventure with Louis the escargot, who goes into town and must use French to get around, adds to the reader’s practice for using the French language.  The one thing Bonjour! Let’s Learn French: Visit New Places and Make New Friends could use would be a breakdown on how to properly pronounce the French words.

The illustrations in Bonjour! Let’s Learn French: Visit New Places and Make New Friends are displayed in a variety of tones – from light pastels, to vibrant colors that leap off the page. One cannot help but to develop a love for snails after seeing the adorable drawings of Louis the Escargot. It is quite evident Ms. Martialay is very talented when putting brush in hand. To add further flavor to the book are actual pictures of some delicious French food, along with the French flag and a few other surprises.

If you or your child want to begin to learn French, then Bonjour! Let’s Learn French: Visit New Places and Make New Friends, is the perfect book to get you started. Au revoir! (Goodbye!)

The Old Schoolhouse

Bonjour! Let’s Learn French with Pete the Pilot and Louis l’escargot Review by Karen Waide

Judy Martialay
Polyglotkidz Press

I love when I find new resources to help the children and I learn foreign languages. We tend to focus on Spanish quite a bit, but my oldest homeschooled daughter, who is 11, really wants to learn French. I admit I jumped at the chance to review Bonjour! Let’s Learn French by Judy Martialay, a retired foreign language teacher who has devoted her time to public advocacy for foreign language education. It seemed like the perfect book to share with the children as they are all in, or close to, the recommended age range of 6-10 years old. My youngest son is six, while the girls are seven and a half, nine and a half, and just turned eleven. I figured we would enjoy it, seeing as we had recently had the opportunity to review Mrs. Martialay’s other foreign language book ¡HOLA! Let's Learn Spanish.

We received the soft cover, 35-page book to read, plus there is free access to the audio of the book on their website, among other wonderful resources for the parent. I immediately downloaded the audio as recommended so we could have the book read to us the first few times, which really helped us learn the pronunciation, so we could attempt to read it ourselves. We really enjoyed having the opportunity to hear the French words read by a native speaker.

There are six sections in the book, plus an acknowledgments page at the back of the book titled “Merci beaucoup.” The sections are as follows:

  • Bonjour! (Hello!)
  • Louis, l’escargot (Louis the Snail)
  • C’est à toi! (It’s Your Turn!)
  • Coin de culture (Culture Corner)
  • Faisons un dessin impressionniste (Let’s Make an Impressionist Picture)
  • Les mots (Words)


The first section, Bonjour! (Hello!), is an introduction to the children from Pete the Pilot, who is taking the reader on a “trip” to France. Included in this section is a list of 15 common words/phrases, along with their translation. It is suggested to practice these words before “arriving” in France. You and your child will practice such words/phrases as: hello, how are you?, my name is…, please, thank you very much, good-bye, and the numbers 1-5.

After this two-page introduction, you will find the bulk of the book, the story titled “Louis, l’escargot.” The story begins with five children playing on the beach (à la plage), building an impressive sand castle (le château de sable). This castle is fit for a king, yet they do not have time to find one before they are called in for dinner. After night falls, we finally get to meet Louis, l’escargot. He is looking for a place to spend the night, and as you might have guessed, he spies the beautiful sand castle. He makes himself right at home, seating himself on the shell throne, and declaring himself the king. Before he can enjoy his dinner, his sandcastle is destroyed by a couple of animals. He ends up falling asleep, using his own shell, and in the morning the children see him in the wrecked castle. They rebuild the sand castle and decide Louis is the perfect king.

The neat thing about the way this story is presented to the children is that French words are included in the story, in bold letters, directly after the English words.  Then when the word/phrase is used later in the story the translation is no longer provided, requiring the reader to recall what was previously learned. Most words are used quite a few times, providing lots of repetition. When listening with the provided audio, there is a pause after the lady reads the French word(s) so that the child (and the parent) can repeat the word(s).

The next section, C’est à toi! (It’s Your Turn!), provides activities for more practice with the words already learned, plus quite a few new words and phrases. There are ten different activities for student and parent/teacher to participate it. You will have a chance to practice introducing yourselves to others, asking, “How are you?” and replying, learning the words for more people and things, along with figuring out where you might find these things (at the beach, at school, or at home). Then you can go on an actual “treasure hunt” to find different objects. Eight colors are taught, along with a couple of activities where you look at pictures and name the colors. Then there is a fun “L’expression du jou” section, where you write down how many times you say a specific French expression each day of the week. For example on Monday you are to find opportunities to use the expression “J’adore!/I love” and at the end of the day you write down how many times you say that expression. Each day has a different expression to focus on.

The final activity in this section is a skit called “Louis vaenville” or “Louis Goes to Town.” Louis the snail and his friends decide to go to town to go to the café, but they have trouble crossing the road because of all the fast traffic. The dialogue is given a line at a time, first in French and then in English. And more new words are introduced.

The next section is called Coin de culture (Culture Corner). Here the children will learn more about some of the cultural aspects that have been mentioned in the story. They will read about beaches, kings, the French flag, onion soup, and more. These are just short paragraphs to help children understand a bit more about what was read in the book. There is also a song to learn called “Ah! Mon beau château!” or “Oh! My Beautiful Castle!”

The section titled Faisons un dessin impressionniste (Let’s Make an Impressionist Picture) gives some information about impressionism and gives you a chance to create some impressionist works of art.

The final section, Les mots (Words) lists each of the just over 100 French words learned in the book, along with the translations.

The children and I enjoyed listening to the story multiple times. It is such a cute story. I would hold the book so the children could see it, while we listened to the author and native speaker read the story. After the native speaker said the words(s) in French, we repeated them. Having a chance to hear the French pronunciation was wonderful, seeing as I do struggle quite a bit with knowing how to pronounce words in foreign languages. After we had heard the story a couple of times, we completed the activities.  I really do appreciate the variety that are included.

There are several points I would like mention.

I do love the way the French words are introduced to us through reading a fun story.  I thought this was an ingenious way to help these words “stick” in our minds. We got to hear most of them multiple times, and I know how important repetition is for learning things. I do wish the additional words that are introduced in the skit had additional ways to practice with them either before, or even after the skit.  The children had a lovely time acting out the skit, but they had trouble memorizing the lines because they weren’t used to all the new words, especially because some are spoken rather quickly.

Another concern we came across was the time given for us to repeat the French words during the story and activities. Most of the time there is adequate time given; however, on occasion, the author continued reading the story before we had finished repeating the words/phrases.

I would love to see a downloadable copy of the skit and the Daily Expression chart included on the website, so each child would be able to have their own in order to make completing these activities easier.

I would also love to see a follow up to this book, where children (and parents) can practice the words learned while learning more and perhaps getting some lessons in the grammar that is being used.

Bonjour! Let’s Learn French! is a neat introduction for elementary age children who are learning French. Children can listen to a cute story and start memorizing French words right from the beginning. There are multiple activities to help reinforce the vocabulary, and children can learn about French culture. You can purchase the book for only $16.99, and there are wonderful free resources on the Polyglotkidz.com website, which I greatly appreciate.


- Product review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, February, 2018

The bookself blog

I usually don’t review children’s books, so I was a bit surprised when writer, illustrator and educator Judy Martialay sought me out to review her book Bonjour! Let’s Learn French. But being a bit of a Francophile and having a niece and nephew who are currently attending a French immersion school, Martialay’s request piqued my interest so I accepted her offer

Bonjour! Let’s Learn French follows the adventures of world traveler Pete the Pilot. Wherever he travels Pete learns the country’s language, so he can better communicate with a country’s citizens and make new friends. In this book Pete finds himself on a French beach where he meets several children and a certain snail named Louis l’escargot. This story is written in English with several key words within the story translated to French, including words like sand, beach, castle, children, which are in bold type. Though the story is quite short it packs in a lot of basic French translations children can recite as a parent reads to them or the child can read him or herself.

But Bonjour! Let’s Learn French offers a great deal more than a short story with English to French translations. It also offers quite a few activities that also help children learn French words and phrases. They include a skit which parents can play out with their children or can be done as a classroom activity. Another activity asks children to look at various people and objects within the book, their home and neighborhoods and translate them to French.

The musically inclined will enjoy a French song in the book and the artsy set will discover their inner Monet or Renoir have fun making their own impressionistic painting, both activities fully explained in the book.

And for convenience sake, Martialay provides a glossary of French to English translations at the end of the book just in case.

Interspersed throughout! Let’s Learn French are Martialay’s cute illustrations and various photographs of people, places and things one might find during a French holiday, including the buildings, art work, the French flag, cafes, and one of my personal favorites, French cuisine, including French onion soup and various French pastries like croissants.

Bonjour! Let’s Learn is for children ages six through 12. Though I think some older children might consider this book to be a bit babyish if they’ve been studying French since they were very little like my niece and nephew. However, I think it’s an ideal book for children learning French for the first time and it’s a way to bond with their parents, too. And, no parents, you don’t have to be fluent in French.

As for school teachers, I think a lot of them will welcome a book like Bonjour! Let’s Learn French in their classrooms, whether the French language is a part of their curriculum or not. We live in a very global world and a book that not only teaches children a foreign language but also about a foreign culture can only be an asset to their learning.