We started our day in the city. After a construction-riddled, white-knuckled, hour-long ride, during which I quietly cursed the city, the five of us arrived at Place Bonaventure for Le Salon du livre. I absolutely love this book exposition. Yes, I have to drive into the city to get there. Yes, I have to pay exorbitant fees for parking. Yes, many of the books are cheaper on Amazon.

booksBut it’s also here that I can peruse books by publisher. It’s here that I find treasure troves of educational resources for my kids. It’s here that we meet authors and find books that aren’t in the bookstores. It’s here that people who are knowledgeable about their books can help me find the perfect one.

It’s here that we walk into an immense palace of reading. It’s here that we wander a never-ending labyrinth of the written world.

It’s here that Saïd and I exchange a look that says We did good when our kids are oohing and ahhing, devouring books with their eyes, pulling us over excitedly to their newest discovery. We can spend an entirely delicious day with books.

We also got to skip the lines and walk right in with free passes—which bought us just enough time to take a photo in front of the exposition sign before it was taken over by a school group. We made our way all the way around before the kids made their final choices: the latest L’Univers est un ninja, the first two in the Jimmy Tornado series, and Le Fabuleux destin d’une vache qui ne voulait pas finir en steak haché. A couple more paperbacks for Noah and a spelling game: L’Orthographe sans papier ni crayon. It’s actually more fun than in sounds. We played it tonight while making dinner.

orthographe jeu

Thank goodness that I happened upon this publisher, Chenelière Éducation. They have lots of great resources for teachers and homeschoolers. I had to restrain myself from spending this week’s food budget at their kiosque. I explained to a woman who was working there that I had a hard time finding spelling resources in French. It’s easy in English, but in French, it seems that spelling is almost always taught tightly intertwined with reading and writing. That makes sense and seems, to me, a far superior method than spelling lists—except when you have a child who is several grade levels ahead in writing (fiction or non-fiction) and a solid reader but whose spelling skills are lacking. That child needs help with spelling alone and has no patience for grade-level French work. So I was super excited to find this game! It has levels, and if they continue to like it as much as they did tonight, then I’ll be buying the next ones. It’s easy, but still enjoyable, for Zahra and the perfect level for Noah—even Leila would be able to play with the easier questions.

monique polakWe also happened upon a photo of one of our favourite authors, Monique Polak! Too bad we didn’t see her, but we took a photo with her photo anyway. We’ve always steered away from reading authors in translation (when we can read them in the original language), but it might be a fun exercise to analyze and compare one of Monique’s books with its translation. I’m probably jumping ahead of myself…I did a similar exercise at university!

When we could walk no more, we left Place Bonaventure and headed west to a Thai restaurant in the West Island for a late lunch. We talked about the exposition’s wow factor and how it’s fun to go into the city from time to time. But then our thoughts wandered farther west and back to the farm. We have undertaken the project of sewing a coat for Brutus, the new calf at Quinn Farm. Being on the West Island, we decided to pop into Fabricville and see if we could find some plaid fleece.

Fabricville is such a weird store to me. From the outside, it’s stuck in the 70’s and completely sketchy. On the inside, it’s not a whole lot better: yellowish lighting, linoleum floors. On one side, it’s hoping for a modern, Déco Découverte look; on the other, there are heaps of fabric as far as the eye can see.

We got a little giddy wandering up and down the aisles. It’s very easy to act silly because no one can see you! There are some cool things in this store, if you can get past the doily lace and polyester in the front. Zahra was in awe of all the thread choices. We priced some fabric choices for Brutus, chose some buckles, and left the store for violin lessons.

Later, after dinner, we went to feed Brutus his evening bottle and measure him for his coat.