French in a Southern Drawl
My favorite bedtime story, The Happy Lion, written by Louise Fatio and illustrated by her husband, Roger Duvoisin, is about a lion living in a French zoo. For me, The Happy Lion was an introduction to French culture and the moral: the grass is always greener on the other side of the zoo fence. This 1954 children’s book gave birth to seven sequels and was the winner of the first Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, a German literary award. At age five, I didn’t care about the award or the sequels, I only knew that I wanted to hear it night after night before I went to sleep. From The Happy Lion, I gained my love of the written word and I learned to say bonjour and au revoir in a slow, southern drawl.