A LIMERICK native has taken inspiration from her childhood in the city to pen a unique book which makes the French language easy for children to learn.
Danny Cool Bonjour, a children’s French storybook, is the first in a series of books which makes learning the language more fun for children.
The book is a first for Grainne Ryan Schaeken who decided to write the book when she discovered that there were no Irish text books for children beginning to learn French.
“We moved from Limerick to Foxrock when I was 10 because the truck rental side of the business was based in Dublin so my father [Michael] was sent up to sort that out. In the book, Danny Cool [the main character] is from Limerick and he moves to Foxrock,” explained Grainne who is the granddaughter of the late Dan Ryan who was well-known in the Mid-West as founder of Dan Ryan Truck Rental.
The book is based around Danny and his French wife Danielle, their children Sophie, Milo, and Toby and their busy chaotic lives where things can sometimes go wrong.
“Danny Cool’s wife is French and she is the yummy mummy with a big rock on her finger. There is a bit of subtle humour that the adults get. Some people have said it’s a bit of Ross O’Carroll Kelly. I met him last week and he said: ‘I love it’.”
The book, which is aimed at children aged between four and 12 years, was launched in Dublin.
Grainne believes learning a European language should be part of the primary school curriculum.
“We are way behind in languages,” said the Limerick native who lived in Castletroy as a child. “Languages are so important, especially in the current climate and it is vital to start a language at a young age as this can often improve a child’s overall cognitive ability.”
Children reading the book can also learn about Ireland and Irish culture as they learn the language.
“Languages are so important, especially in the current climate, and it is vital to start a language at a young age as this can often improve a child’s overall cognitive ability,” Grainne added.
The book, which features colourful and entertaining illustrations, is available in Tony Clarke’s book shop on Thomas Street in Limerick.
Grainne, who returns to Limerick three or four times a year, will be signing the book this Saturday, December, 21 from 2pm in the Limerick store.
“I have great memories from Limerick,” she said.
Grainne dedicated the book to her late mother, Margaret, who sadly passed away in 1987.
“You were only with me 19 years of my life but I treasure all the memories,” Grainne writes inside the front cover of the book.
Deborah McCann, the illustrator of the book, also has a Limerick connection - she is the niece of late Dermot Walsh, a Limerick journalist and author who passed away in 2010.