"A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood"... That's how the famous story starts - but this autumn, Reception children will get to rediscover it in Jèrriais.
Every child starting Reception class across Jersey’s primary schools will receive a Jèrriais translation of Julia Donaldson’s well-loved classic picture book ‘The Gruffalo’.
The famous children's book, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has been translated into Jersey's native tongue by Charlie Le Maistre, a Jèrriais teacher. It's the second classic to get the 'patois' treatment after Michael Rosen’s ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, which became ‘J’allons à la chasse à l’ourse’ last year.
Lé Gruffalo, published in association with Macmillan Publishers and sponsored by charitable organisation, Le Don Balleine Trust, will be launched at a special family event at Victoria College as part of Jersey Festival of Words on Saturday 28 September 2019.
Families are invited to join the little brown ‘souothis’ as they take a stroll through the deep dark ‘bouaîs’sie,' enjoy some storytelling and take part in Gruffalo-themed craft activities. Word on the street has it that there might even be a chance to say ‘Bouônjour’ to the Gruffalo himself.
Members of the Jèrriais Teaching Service will then visit schools to present the books throughout the autumn term. Copies will also be gifted to every school library as well as Jersey Library.
Charlie Le Maistre said: “Whilst it was something of a challenge to convey the meaning of the original text in Jèrriais, I hope people will have as much fun reading the story as I had in translating it.”
Earlier this month, a Guernesiais version of The Gruffalo was published by Island Language LBG with the support of Guernsey Museums. Director Chris Dye shared hopes it would help encourage some young learners to pick up some Guernsey French.
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