Pierre & Paul: Avalanche! – Picture Book Review

By Caroline Adderson
Illustrated by Alice Carter
Published on: March 15, 2020

Who knew making a sandwich could be such a great adventure? But, when you’re with your best friend nothing is as it seems. When Pierre and Paul decide to climb the Himalayas they realize they have gotten hungry. Good thing explorers always come prepared. Good thing one of them also has a refrigerator nearby to help them build a sandwich. A giant sandwich.


Told half in French and half in English, switching continuously between both languages Simple text and contextual clues make the story easy to understand for emergent readers in both languages. Excellent resource for French-immersion students.


Initially, I believed the story was told in English and in French – separately, but on the same page. However, what I found was that the story actually switches back and forth between the two languages. When Paul asks what should be on the sandwich, Pierre answers in French. The story does a good job of teaching the words in both languages for some of the basic foods you might put on a sandwich. Of course, to make a giant sandwich the boys must put more and more non-sandwichy things on it, so there are more food names to learn than just lettuce or tomatoes.

For a non-French speaker some of the illustrations really helped with words I didn’t necessarily know. Other times, I wasn’t able to pick up on what was being said in the French portions. This book probably won’t work for everyone, but it will be a nice introduction to both languages for others. Plus, the illustrations are fun to look at as the sandwich gets taller and taller.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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