For the past couple of weeks, I've been tutoring kids at France Exchange, a Los Angeles institution that has been offering French language programs for over 20 years. Little by little, the house has become filled with all things French for children, including an extensive book collection, with some concessions to local passions - witness the basketball court. It is precisely around this court that you will find the almost life-size figures of some of French children's most beloved characters.
There is the Petit Prince, from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's eponymous little masterpiece, and Tintin with his loyal pooch Milou in tow - for some reason, Milou is called Snowy in the English version of the bande-dessinée (graphic novel/comic strip). Visitors also run into Bécassine, another character all French children are familiar with, though she is not as famous abroad as Tintin or the Petit Prince - now over 100 years old (she first appeared in a comic strip in 1905), Bécassine is youthful as ever.
Sad Update: I was fired. The reason? I am not authoritative enough with the kids - I get the work done, and done well, but I'm not bossy enough. French education could be summed up by this principle, once stated by my high school biology teacher: "In teaching, you can go with the carrot or the stick. I've always liked the stick better."