An old work colleague of mine recently celebrated the birth of her first granddaughter in the US. Since she's a fluent French speaker, I was determined to find her the perfect “French” gift, but wanted to find something a little more classier than an Eiffel Tower bib! So, I headed to Galeries Lafayette and, after getting distracted by the handbags and shoes, found myself on the children's toy floor. I spent hours looking at puzzles, dolls and rattles before finally wandering over to the book section. And that's where I found the perfect souvenir for a child – “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” in French!
When my kids were little, no bookshelf was complete without a copy of this delightful children's book, and I was thrilled to find a French version. Not only was it a perfect gift for a retired French teacher's granddaughter but it was also inexpensive and easy to post to the US … if only I could have resisted the cute little baby Bonpoint dress and shoes (shhh, don't tell Philippe!).
So, the next time you're in Paris and looking for a gift for a little one back home, remember that there's plenty of great alternatives to the standard Eiffel Tower memorabilia. Both Galeries Lafayette and Printemps have a huge selection of French books and toys, which can be easily carried in your suitcase or posted before you leave.