La Petite Josette En Provence

Going To Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence)

Children - Concept
44 Pages
Reviewed on 10/13/2018
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Author Biography

Ashley Davidson-Fisher is a graduate of California State University- San Bernardino’s Department of World Languages and Literatures. In 2006 she received a Bachelor of Arts in French for both the Business Track and the Culture Studies Track. As part of her studies, she participated in the Foreign Languages Department Study Abroad Program in Aix-en-Provence from 2003 to 2005 at the Université de Droit, D’Economie et des Sciences D’Aix Marseille III Institut D’Etudes Française pour Etudiants Etrangers.
Since 2010, Ashley, her husband, and their youngest daughter have lived in Provence, France. She is the Director of Operations for an international biotech company specializing in the research and diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma. La Petite Josette en Provence is her first book.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

La Petite Josette En Provence: Going To Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence) is a bilingual story book for children written by Ashley Davidson-Fisher and illustrated by Martinique Louise Fisher. Josette and her sister, Anne-Laure, were so eager for their day trip to Les Baux-de-Provence to begin. When Anne-Laure went to wake up her little sister, she was surprised to see that Josette was already dressed and waiting. Josette helped her dad put their bags and picnic supplies in the car while Anne-Laure and their mom made a picnic lunch for them. Finally, it was time to leave. On the way there, they passed through vineyards and rolling green hills. Then they saw the village and the castle ruins perched high atop a hill. Anne-Laure and Josette couldn’t wait to get out of the car and explore.

La Petite Josette En Provence: Going To Les Baux-de-Provence is a charming and informative tale that follows Josette and her family as they explore the historic ruins at Les Baux-de-Provence. While it’s been some time since I studied French, I loved revisiting the language through this book and enjoyed exploring the ruins along with the girls and their parents. Davidson-Fisher interposes French and English phrases in such a way that those who are new to the language will be able to understand what’s being said while appreciating learning the French words and phrases. She also gives the reader a marvelous peek into French history.

Martinique Louise Fisher’s watercolors are most impressive. I’d love to see each of these marvelous images framed and hanging in a child’s room. If you don’t know French, this is a great introduction to the language, and if you’ve been away from the language for a while, you’ll soon feel right at home with it. La Petite Josette En Provence: Going To Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence) is most highly recommended.

Becky Villarreal

La Petite Josette en Provence is a wonderful tale of a young girl and her family on a day trip to Les Baux-de-Provence, a beautiful village in Provence, France. The illustrations are inviting and add to the magical tale of Josette and her family as they explore the village and shops. This book is a great introduction to the French language and would be a great addition to the classroom in a thematic unit on France.

Susan Keefe

France captured the hearts of southern California born and raised author Ashley and her husband Michael in 2003, when they arrived in Provence with their four young children. Ashley was studying abroad for degrees in French Culture Studies and Business, and whilst Ashley participated in her university work, Michael and the children became immersed in the French culture and language. Trips out exploring their adopted country led to a love of the region, and after returning to the USA to complete her degrees, Ashley and her husband returned with their youngest child to Provence in 2010.

It is perhaps these experiences into the French way of life as an expat which inspired Ashley to create this clever little story. It is written primarily in English, but also has many phrases written, and explained in French also. I think this enriches the story and enables the reader to enjoy a truly bilingual experience.

The setting is the beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence. It is a listed heritage site, is noted as “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” (“Station classée”). Its ruined castle, and history make it the ideal foil for the wonderful journey of discovery, which La Petite Josette and her big sister Anne-Laure embark upon in this story.

There is great excitement in the household, the family are going for a day out! The girls can’t wait for mum to pack the picnic, and dad to get the car ready. Eagerly they watch the beautiful countryside, the vast vineyards, and olive groves go by on their way to their hilltop destination, Les Baux-de-Provence. However it is the village’s hilltop ruined castle which captivates the girls’ imagination.

As they look around it, papa explains its history, and the girls are caught up in the atmosphere, looking over the ramparts, seeing the village below, and even some troglodyte caves!

What an exciting day, they have, there is so much to see and do! But all good things must come to an end, and it is two tired girls who return home at the end of a wonderful day, and clutched in her hand La Petite Josette holds a very special souvenir.

A lovely story, one to be treasured forever, beautifully illustrated by the author and her husband’s talented daughter Martinique Louise Fisher. – Highly Recommended!

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Published in September 2018, “La Petite Josette en Provence” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book based in Provence. The book is the result of a mother-daughter collaboration that took 3 and ½ years to complete. This children’s story is written primarily in English, but with plenty of French phrases sprinkled throughout the text, to encourage young (and not so young) language learners.

The main character in the story is Josette, a young girl who is affectionately called “La Petite” by her family. This charming tale is one of the family’s visit to see the perched village of Les Baux de Provence. Join Josette and her big sister Anne-Laure’s as they discover in the remains of the Château des Baux and imagine what it would have been like to live in a hilltop castle. Follow their footsteps as they explore the marvellous cobbled streets of Les Baux. Detailed, original illustrations by Martinique Louise Fisher complement the bilingual text.

A Creative Team

Ashley Davidson-Fisher wrote the copy for “La Petite Josette en Provence,” and her daughter Martinique created the images. Once you see the level of detail in the illustrations, it is clear why the project took a long time to complete. Davidson-Fisher who lives and works in Provence confirmed that she and her daughter finished the entire project long-distance. Martinique is a teacher and professional illustrator based in California.

Although this is the first book published by this mother-daughter team, one could imagine that there is plenty of material for more publications in the future. Originally from California, Ashley Davidson-Fisher and her husband Michael moved to Provence in 2003 with their four (4) children. The family explored the region on weekends and during school breaks. They may have even visited Les Baux like La Petite and her family did in the story.

Cath Russell

The author of La Petite Josette En Provence is Ashley Davidson-Fisher. We follow each other on Twitter and I've enjoyed her photos of Provence (and this summer, Norway) for quite a while now. She's lived in Provence, off and on, with her family for many years and still does. She asked me if I would read and review her new children's book, La Petite Josette En Provence, which has been illustrated by her daughter, Martinique Louise Fisher, and naturally I was very pleased to do so.


La Petite Josette (little Josette) is incredibly excited. Her parents are taking her and her older sister, Anne-Laure, out for the day to visit the hill-top village of Les Baux-de-Provence. She's so excited that when her sister comes to collect her she's already dressed under the bedclothes! The girls help their parents get the picnic ready and load the car and they're off.

This is Les Baux-de-Provence, (pic from TripAdvisor) which as you can see, is rather spectacular; it has a medieval castle, a very ancient history, and by the sound of it, lovely shops and cafés. I gather it's been named one of the most beautiful villages in France. Anyway the family set about exploring the castle, enjoying a picnic, buying souvenirs and having a reviving drink. In other words a really lovely day out.

This children's book is pure charm. Ashley's beautifully written story is also superbly illustrated by Martinique Louise Fisher. To be honest, the illustrations are a real feature of the book, I sat looking at them for ages. Her website is (https://lapetitejosette.com) if anyone is interested in seeing her work. The paintings in this book made me wish adult books came with pictures like this! How nice to see exactly what the storyteller has in mind.

But not only is the book charming it's also educational. I did French at school and although I haven't kept it up the knowledge is still part of me and I didn't have too much trouble understanding the French. What I didn't know was explained in the story so I feel like I learnt quite a bit. For instance, we're all familiar with the French 's'il vous plait' for 'please'. I've always wondered what families say for this because they wouldn't use 'vous' they'd use the more personal 'tu'. Apparently families say, 's'il te plait'. So now I know. A simple thing but it pleases me. I learnt that sausages are 'des saucisses', peanuts are 'cacahvétes', fab word but my keyboard won't do the accent the other way round, and yoghurt is 'yaourt'.

I think this would be an excellent book for children just starting to learn French or perhaps with a little experience of the language. (My grandson has just started in fact, he did a little at primary school but has started in earnest at comprehensive and loves it.) French makes up a small percentage of the story and there are clear explanations in dialogue for all of the French terms.

I really really hope that Ashley and Martinique are thinking of doing more books about 'La Petite'. I think it would be a gorgeous way to introduce children to the language but also to the beauty and culture of La belle France. And not just children... aged grandmas with a thing about European geography too.

Doreen Milford

I loved it!!!! I love how it is about a family’s road trip and at the same time a lesson in castle history. This is the start of many road trips through France for the little family in the book!!!The story and illustrations are awesome!!!!

Jacob Lowder

This is a wonderful book, especially for bed-time reading! The illustrations are detailed and lively, and the author does a great job of letting the reader experience visiting an ancient castle. We get to feel the excitement of heading out on a family trip, seeing this new mysterious place, and feeling the joy of exploring on our own. Told from La Petite Josette's point of view, the wonder and adventure shine through and the kids feel just what Josette feels. My 6 year old daughter couldn't read the french phrases (and I'm sure I butchered the pronunciation) but we all had fun learning a new language, and the meaning is very clear so there is no guessing "what are they saying?" The next day, my 3 year old wanted to read it again, so I guess that is the best review there can be!

Keith Van Sickle

Little Josette is going on an adventure with her family—a visit to the ancient chateau of Les Baux-de-Provence that towers over the French countryside. There she explores the enormous castle walls, wanders down cobblestone streets and marvels at the houses built right into cliffs! Josette imagines what it would have been like to be a princess here, gazing down on her kingdom below.After the visit, the family has a big picnic lunch and Papa buys her a special souvenir—a little knight, dressed just like in the old days.This charming story is beautifully illustrated and comes with a nice bonus—little French lessons built right in, simple words and phrases ideal for piquing the interest of young readers. Highly recommended.

Kelly Tooman

Prepare to be charmed by this beautiful story of a family's journey to Les Baux-de-Provence. It's a reminder of gentler times where families interacted with each other fully without the distraction of cell phones and selfies. There's an innocence and sweetness to this story as sisters share the thrill of discovering a chateau from the Middle Ages, enjoy a picnic lunch with their parents, and thoughtfully shop for souvenirs that will remind them of their special day together. The beauty of Provence is captured in soft watercolor illustrations that made me want to look over them again and again. Repetition of phrases in both French and English is a natural way for children (and adults!) to learn the language. Love abounds in this enchanting book capturing a day in the life of a family enjoying each other and the magic of Provence!

Kitty Sunnette

La Petite Josette En Provence has very beautiful art work and is a peaceful positive story about a family’s Trip in France. Perfect for all ages and a much longer story then I thought it was going to be! A lot to enjoy!

Karen Takeyama

Merveilleux!!! A wonderful book for children or anyone who’s learning the language or history of France! A lovely book of historical family adventure and beautiful illustrations by this mother-daughter team! Great for teachers, as well as collectors of children’s books! The hard-cover edition is recommended for lasting durability, as you’ll want to pass this “petite” gem onto generations to come!

Linda Hill

It’s time for a family trip to Les Baux-de-Provence.I thoroughly enjoyed La Petite Josette en Provence and think it would appeal especially to young girls in the six to 11 age range, because not only is it an interesting story, but they would identify very readily with Josette. Similarly, adults learning French will also appreciate this book.Alongside a lovely account of a day out, Ashley Davidson-Fisher manages to convey an accurate and appealing view of France and its culture so that children can learn as well as be entertained. There’s reference to geography, history and food so that there’s much to learn and discover here. The author is obviously a true Francophile. I could see La Petite Josette en Provence being perfect for families travelling in France.I thought the balance of French to English was just right, affording an opportunity for French language learners to practice and enhance their skills in a way that was non-threatening and adults with little or no French could easily share this book with their children. I have to admit to a sneaky feeling of satisfaction at understanding the French even without the cleverly placed English and think language learners would attain a real sense of achievement reading La Petite Josette en Provence. Similarly, I thought the English vocabulary was an excellent balance of accessible and challenging vocabulary so that English language skills as well as French could be improved.The illustrations in La Petite Josette en Provence elevate the story too as they are just beautiful. I particularly liked the way in which they related so closely to the text so that the French language elements such as the pic-nic items like ‘les tartelettes aux framboises’ are more understandable, allowing readers to absorb language without noticing.La Petite Josette en Provence is a lovely story. It’s an educational and entertaining book and is beautifully illustrated. I really enjoyed it.

Missy Wanacott

I love this book! The beautiful illustrations truly capture the delightful travels of this sweet family on their journey to Provence. The watercolored illustrations are so compelling to look at over and over again! I love the sweet story and the interaction of the children with their parents and the simplicity of this story is very compelling. Don't miss reading this to or with your children!

Janice Dunlap

This engaging story with its beautiful illustrations is a must-have! I purchased this for my granddaughter and she loves hearing about La Petite Josette on her trip to the castle as well as joining in with the French phrases. This book would be a great addition to any mfl classroom so beginners in the language can experience a delightful snapshot of France while practicing the vocabulary they are learning. More titles please!

Paul Shore

A sweet family story, whose bright illustrations will capture the attention of any child who has traveled abroad. A day-trip to a ancient and scenic French village is a mini-adventure that children will remember for a lifetime.

Terri Nelson

Beautifully illustrated story of two sisters on a family day trip to Les Baux. The book is written primarily in English but with interspersions of French that make it feel like the family is comfortably bilingual. No worries if you don't read (or speak) French, you'll still understand exactly what is happening. The imagination and curiosity of the two sisters propel the story forward. Lovely story.

Musiclova

My family and I live in France. We are always looking for books that have both English and French. This book hits the mark! It is both entertaining and educational. The art is amazing and I love the fact that it is a mother daughter ensemble creating this beautiful work. I read it to my six year old and he was fascinated the entire time I read. He is familiar with Les Baux and loves it there so this is extra special for him. I highly recommend!

Ma famille et moi vivons en France. Nous sommes toujours à la recherche de livres en anglais et en français. J'ai trouvé ce livre vraiment bon. Le livre est à la fois divertissant et éducatif. L'art est incroyable. C'était formidable d'apprendre que ce livre avait été créé ensemble par une mère et sa fille. Je l'ai lu à mon fils de six ans et il a toujours été fasciné par l'histoire. Il a visité «Les Baux» et l’aime beaucoup. Par conséquent, ce livre est très sentimental pour lui. Je le recommande fortement.