Par Rachel Sokol – 17 janvier 2017
Francophiles, rejoice! The Upper East Side just welcomed a new French-language bookstore and library for kids. Dubbed La Librairie des Enfants, This charming storefront welcomes children of all ages and is owned and operated by longtime UES resident (and French native) Lynda Ouhenia-Hudson. Read on for the lowdown on this fresh spot!
Opening a French bookstore for children had long been a dream of Ouhenia-Hudson, mother to two now-grown children. When she spotted a ‘For Rent’ sign in the window of a former restaurant close to her home, she decided to finally take the plunge.
La Librairie des Enfants primarily sells children’s books that are written in French and published by some of the top publishers in France. Of course, literary classics such as Madeline and Le Petit Prince are available, but there’s also a large variety of soft, sensory books, pop-up books, children’s cookbooks, books that make music when buttons are pressed, and so forth, along with chapter books and plays.
Tres Francais Gifts, Play and Classes
The shop also sells poster-sized coloring maps, French board games such as Grand Jeu Max et Lili, art kits, and other little gift items you’d find at shops in France. Additionally, the shop stocks a small section of children’s books in English, and also features a play area with tables and a mini dollhouse. French book covers and a photo of “The Little Prince” adorn the walls of the shop.
Ouhenia-Hudson — who, when pressed, identifies Tintin as her favorite French storybook character — is happy to place special orders for a specific book or gift item. (She’s also happy to hook-up adults with French titles upon request.)
The shop also hosts sessions (40-minute classes) called “Petites Histoires” for children ages 18 months to 8 years of age. Led by native French teachers, the classes focus on French literature, language, music, art and more. Sessions can be purchased as part of a membership package (see below) or can be done a la carte for $42/session with sibling discounts available. Sessions available in 2017 are listed here.