Friday, November 5, 2010

Great Bilingual Books

Expose your children to the Spanish language using bilingual picture books!

Walsh, Ellen Stoll.
Mouse Paint/Pintura de raton.
June 2010.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Three adventurous white mouse take readers on a journey exploring the act of color mixing. As they dip into different color cups, readers will find great join and excitement in the new colors that are formed - orange, green, purple and even brown! The simple text introduces secondary colors through the mixing of the primary colors. This book is perfect for preschool children learning about colors. It also makes for a wonderful art activity!
  • Get out those finger paints and a large piece of finger paint paper. Using the three primary colors: yellow, red and blue, allow children to explore by mixing colors of their own, after giving them a dollop of each on their plate. Challenge your child(ren) to try and find the combinations that make orange, green, purple and even brown!
Parks, Carmen.
Farmers Market/Dia de mercado.
July 2010.
Hougton Mifflin Harcourt.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Parks and Farmers Market/Dia de mercado introduce young readers to the concept of a farmers market - from how it works to the items being sold. This book would make for a perfect introduction about fruits and vegetables, how they are grown and who the people are that grow them. You could easily expand upon this book in other ways, as well!
  • Take a field trip to your local farmers market (or produce section at the grocery store). See what fruits and vegetables you can find. Try buying 3 different ones that haven't yet be tried by your family/class. Experiment trying out new fruits and vegetables!
  • Set up a farmers market in your classroom using play fruits and vegetables. Tag each item with a price and have your child(ren) "buy" the items to practice counting with money!
Floyd, Lucy.
Rabbit and Turtle Go To School/Conejo y Tortuga van a la escuela.
July 2010.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Similar in aspects to the Tortoise and the Hare, Rabbit and Turtle Go To School/Conego y Tortuga van a la escuela, explore how these two animals take different approaches in a race to school. While ultimately the animals travel in different methods than you might expect - and the race results are likely to be surprising - this is the perfect book to introduce children to the classic, The Tortoise and the Hare. Definitely a fun, simple story that children will likely enjoy!
  • Use a Venn Diagram to draw up a list of similarities and differences between Rabbit and Turtle Go To School/Conejo y Tortuga van a la escuela and The Tortoise and the Hare. See if children can identify what is so ironic about Rabbit and Turtle Go To School/Conejo y Tortuga van a la escuela (Tortoise is the slower of the two animals, yet he wins the race to school)!
The bilingual aspect of these books will allow children to not only see and hear the Spanish language, it also allows them to make a connection between words. The books are perfect for any families you might come across that are bilingual - in my classroom I have an English speaking child with Spanish speaking parents - interesting to say the least! However, providing them with such reading materials exposes the children to their parents' native (first, and only) language and the parents' to the the children's (first, and only) language, allowing them both to learn from each other (and the illustrations of course, that are key for preschoolers to draw conclusions from print and illustration)!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!


style='clear: both;' Lori said...

I love it! I had not thought of easy readers for Spanish. My boys take Spanish and enjoy reading "real" books the language. This will be really fun.

style='clear: both;' Betty said...

Thanks for the book recommendations. I also think it is very important to expose children at a young age to bilingual books. My daughter loves one such book that we recently read called Jazz Fly 2 by author Matthew Gollub. It's has jazzy music and a playful bilingual narrative which makes it interesting for kids and parents.