800,000 pupils given free book 'to boost reading'

Copies of Les Fables de la Fontaine were due to be handed to every pupil in CM2 as part of the second 'A Book for the Holidays' scheme

All 800,000 pupils in CM2 classes across France are to receive a free book from the Ministry of Education as part of the second 'A Book for the Holidays' scheme.

Copies of Les Fables de la Fontaine, with illustrations by acclaimed comicbook artist Joann Sfar, will be handed to every pupil aged between 10 and 11.

The book is a well-loved French classic of collected fables that were adapted into French verse by 17th-century poet Jean de La Fontaine.

It is part of a scheme intended to "strengthen the taste for reading" among children as they leave primary school for the summer holidays before going to collège.

Mr Sfar was due to join Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer at a presentation of the book to 450 pupils at the Orangerie du Château de Versailles on Tuesday. Pupils across the country will receive their copies of the book at the same time.

Last year, 150,000 CM2 pupils were given a copy of the same book.

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