Language Bear in my house… Could be you yours too
There has been an interesting development in my world…. After much deliberation last year we decided to go for the STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) school rather than the language school and all is basically well and I’m happy with the decision but…. BUT Niamh decided to start ‘speaking’ Spanish. The thing is, she does not know spanish really, she knows how to count to 10 and some random Dora words so she would basically speak nonsense with an accent. Do I question my decision of STEM? Maybe but we are in it already so we start talking more spanish at home and Lars starts brushing up too. Then an interesting opportunity appeared in my in-box.
I was contacted by a Tim Johnson, a fellow parent, who has written some dual language kids books and he asked us to read “Bosley Builds a Tree House”. The book is releasing today and he asked us to write a review to help the launch. He offers the book in a ton* of languages but I choose Spanish even though I’m pretty interested in Russian too, not to mention chinese. Anyway, he sent us a PDF and I printed it out and glued it into a real book shape and read it to the kids.
Fiona age 1.5 – absolutely could not care less, she was interested in the first page and then when I did not let her eat the book moved on. Given that she is still learning english I’m not sure she liked words she really didn’t understand. We have another Spanish book that she likes but it is very short and not dual language.
Zoe age 3 – she stuck with it for more than half but then was not all that interested. She liked the pictures but did not like that it was so long. Zoe does love to look at books and at rest time today she was flipping through it talking to the characters (she loves the Owl)
Niamh age 5 – she LOVED it and has requested it over and over. She likes linking the english words to the spanish ones and she likes the story in general. It was almost hard to read to her because she kept trying to make matches and link words.
Me age 30+ – I liked the story but it was actually on the long side for my liking mostly because I had to read the english and then the spanish. On the other hand, I did like that it had the translation right there unlike my other spanish book where I had to look up words on my own. The dual nature is really my favorite part, the spanish has highlighted words that are also highlighted in the english side. The illustrations are also very clear and fun. My least favorite part is that I don’t know how to pronounce all the Spanish words so reading it out loud is a bit of a tongue twister and I’m glad in retrospect that I didn’t ask for Chinese. I even can speak some spanish, I took about 8 years of classes and a good chunk stuck but I was never great at reading it out loud.
I asked a friend who has older kids in the Spanish immersion program to take a look too and they said the spanish was true to the english, but, her kids age 8 and 9 thought the book was on the ‘babyish’ side.
I would say that this would be great for age 4 – 7 and here is the best part. I was given a copy to GIVE AWAY! If you are interested in a copy leave me a comment on this post and I will choose a winner via random number generator in a week. This would be a nice gift for Christmas or Chanukah or just to surprise your child/grand child/niece. Adding language into early years has been shown to stretch the brain so other learning is easier.
Here are a few links provided by the author;