Nan Nan showed up to the beach house with this book, my favorite book of all time. Springtime for Jeanne Marie. It's about a little girl and her two best friends (a goat and a duck) who live in the beautiful countryside of France.
I haven't seen it in years, but I still knew every word by heart. Nan Nan read it to my sister and me every single night in her cutest sing-song voice (she was a librarian, so her voices for each character were amazing).
I don't know what I loved more -- saying the sweet French names over and over (Jeanne-Marie! Madelon! Patapon! Jeanne-Pierre!) or the little details like the her red head scarf, the straw basket of flowers, the dreamy pink clouds, the stripey outfits, and my favorite, the perfectly-circular rosy cheeks.
Nan Nan and Pa Pa lived in France in the late fifties and my mom was actually born in La Rochelle, so I grew up loving all things French. Of course I was infinitely influenced by my family, but I think Jeanne-Marie has a lot to do with the fact that au pairing in the French countryside always just felt right.
P.S. Happy Bastille Day!