Ma Petite Librairie: buy French books in Australia

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ma Petite Librairie is an online store which sells books for children, teens and even parents. We chat to Valerie, the founder of the boutique.  

Ma Petite Librairie

Bonjour Valerie, recently you founded Ma Petite Librairie. What is it?

It’s a platform for the online sale of French books for children (0 to 12 years approximately… to begin with).

 

But we also have a few books for 12 and up, some for parents about education and of course the classic comics like Tintin, Titeuf, Spirou et Fantasio or even Astérix and Obélix for all ages from 7 years of age.

 

We deliver everywhere in Australia.

 

Why did you found Ma Petite Librairie?

After a few weeks of lockdown in June 2020, it became clear that we weren’t going to be able to go home to France for a while and I couldn’t visit my favourite bookstores with my Mum to look for beautiful children’s books. Quickly I said to myself that a lot of French families or dual-nationality living in Australia would be in the same situation as us. That’s where the idea of Ma Petite Librairie is born and a few months later in November 2020, my husband and I put our first books up online.

 

How do you choose the books that are part of your range?

I mainly use my experience as a reader and as a Mum, I know what young readers are attracted to. For example, the littlest ones like to manipulate the books, to lift flaps, touch textures and press buttons to hear sounds.

Later, young children love stories about their learning experiences such as potty training, fear of the dark, the first day at the nursery or school.

 

Then, there’s the “Why?” period with all the books that explain how things work and towards 5-6 years of age, it’s the beginning of learning to read with a whole range of collections that focus on the different stages of this important phase. In short, there are books for every stage of a child’s development.

 

I also find out what children like on publishers’ websites for example, and I simply ask my clients on our social networks if they have any recommendations of things they would like to see available in Australia.

 

What are the challenges in obtaining books in French in Australia?

The logistics and the cost of transport, obviously! The books come from different distributors, they are then collected in one batch and then travel to Australia to fly or ship 17,000 kilometres.

 

We make a lot of effort to keep costs at their lowest, to offer books at reasonable prices in Australia, but it takes time.

 

The other challenge for us is obviously the learning of all the aspects of a young online company. We make mistakes and start over often, but we learn a lot.

 

What are the (approximate) prices of your books?

We have a lot of new books which will be available soon with a large order which arrived last week.

 

To give you an idea, we have a large selection of learning to read books such as ‘Je suis au CP|CE1|CE2’ at $12.95 which are very popular with families, or holiday books from kindergarten to 6th grade preparation at around $15, perfect for holidays all year round!

 

Ma Petite Librairie

We were also waiting for a very cute collection that I discovered thanks to a recommendation from a client called “Drools de Bêtes” for 3 – 6 years of age with for example “Siméon le Papillon” for $13.95.

 

For the littlest ones, we have existing and new collections with giant books, piano books, books with flaps, nursery rhymes, in short lots of things for them to discover and devour (literally and figuratively).

 

For the older kids there will be a lot of new collections too. Illustrated novels but also comics like Mortelle Adèle, Spirou et Fantasio for about $20.95.

We can’t wait to share all these books with our customers, young and old!

 

What do you normally do in life?

I work for an international consulting/auditing company, where I manage the ‘information management’ team. Basically, we implement tools and processes to better manage documents in the company and comply with our obligations to clients.

 

It’s fun, but nothing like the joy of having your own business (even if it’s small!) and working in a field that you are 100% passionate about.

 

My husband, on the other hand, works in sales for a well-known website platform.

You can find the Ma Petite Librairie website here: https://mapetitelibrairie.com.au/

 

If you’re interested in books in French, you may also like to read our article about BabelBooks

And if you’re looking for activities to help your child with their learning of French, discover My Little French Club.

 

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