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This French cartoon is teaching children about the Paris attacks

A French magazine has offered a conversation starter for families.


Carrie Nelson


Posted on Nov 16, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 3:42 pm CDT

How will parents teach their children about the recent Paris attacks? As with any tragedy, the lesson must be approached with honesty and sensitivity, and one French magazine has offered a conversation starter.

Astrapi, a youth magazine produced by French publisher Bayard Jeunesse, released a free, downloadable two-page illustrated pamphlet meant for children ages seven and up. One particularly striking image features an anthropomorphic Eiffel Tower shedding a tear while holding hands with a row of children.

The Guardian reports that the pamphlet poses the questions which are likely children’s minds in the wake of the attacks: “Why kill innocent people? Who are the terrorists? What can we do?”

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Astrapi shared the pamphlet on its Facebook page yesterday and the link has been shared over 14,000 times. 

Though many of the words included in the pamphlet come from adults, reactions and questions from young children are also shared. “Is it true that France is in fact at war?” asks eight-year-old Julie. “The terrorists, can they come inside our house?” wonders Antoine, age seven. And 10-year-old Noe adds, “I haven’t seen any pictures yet, but I prefer not to see them because they are horrible things. I just want to understand why they did this.”

Under the heading “Who are the killers?” the pamphlet also takes care to highlight that, while the attack was perpetrated by Islamic extremists, “[t]hese ultraviolent people have nothing to do with the majority of Muslims.”

Ultimately, the advice offered by the pamphlet is simple and compassionate: “The best way to respond to the violence and madness of these men is to continue to live normally and defend one’s ideas while respecting others,” according to a translation  from New York Times.

Additional translation provided by Lilit Marcus.

Image via Storm Crypt/Flickr

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*First Published: Nov 16, 2015, 3:04 pm CST