I talked about this with my siblings in December, and we even looked for one then, but to no avail. Now I have finally found a jack-in-the-box (a boîte à surprise) for my great nephew (son of my niece).
Now it is thematic, and themed to characters which are unfamiliar to WASPy me: Barbapapa. I figure that when he starts talking, he is likely to be as anglophone as I am, growing up in western Canada with parents and grandparents who speak English to him. So how to understand and explain Barbapapa? With a book, of course!
I was lucky enough to pick out this book which is seeking to teach francophone children their first English words. I suspect that he and his parents will be using this book the other way around!
And here is how the box itself works (ignore the clutter on the kitchen counter behind it!):
Now why don’t more toy companies make these things these days? It’s a mystery to me.