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Children’s books added to Unesco heritage register

A series of children’s books has been added to Unesco’s Memory of the World register to join the Bayeux Tapestry, the Gutenberg Bible and the Book of Kells

Aimed at protecting for posterity humanity’s most important cultural documents, the register records individual documents or whole archives – in this case, Paul Fau­cher’s Père Castor books published by Flam­marion since the 1930s. Seen as children’s classics, they feature artwork by illustrators of different nationalities .

Les albums du Père Castor are known for their visual appeal as Faucher thought the first images children see have lasting impact and create their idea of beauty.

They include titles like Roule galette (about a galette that escapes the kitchen and avoids being eaten by different animals), Les bons amis (about animals on a snowy day who each pass on a carrot to another they think is in more need), or L’imagier, with pictures of everyday things and their names, to help children with their vocabulary.

Faucher called himself Père Castor (beaver) because he wanted his books to help children ‘construct’ their identities.

He also believed beavers to be one of the few animals that care equally for those of their children with disabilities.

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