Many studies have shown that reading to children, as well as encouraging them to read on their own, has infinite benefits. Not only do they develop a stronger relationship with their parents, a higher aptitude for learning in general and better communication skills, but they also become more creative and are better prepared to solve problems as they develop their imagination.
So, what if we could foster our children’s curiosity and reading skills while helping them learn a second language? Now you can! Bilingual books are becoming more and more popular and these are the perfect learning tools to introduce your children to a bilingual education. They usually come with lots of images that help them associate the words. Below you will find a list of these books so that you and your child can give them a try.
Written by Karen Pandell, this book talks about love and is a tender story for kids from 0 to 3 years old. The beautiful illustrations are by Tomie de Paola and they encourage children to express their emotions and to be grateful for the world that surrounds them. The sentences are short and simple which will help children learn new words both in English and in Spanish while associating them to the images.
2. If I Had a Dragon / Si yo tuviera un dragón
Morton thinks that his brother is way too young to have fun with him so he decides to pretend that he is a magnificent dragon! In his mind, everything will be way more interesting by using make believe. After a while he realizes that it is not as fun as he thought it would be and decides to play with his small brother in the sandbox. This book is hilarious and definitely stimulates a child’s imagination by encouraging the readers to question alternatives and wonder what would happen if they were someone or something else.
3. Are You My mother? / ¿Eres mi mamá?
This is a story about a bird who can’t find his mother and wanders around trying to find her. The reunion at the end of the book reinforces the notion of motherly love and awakens beautiful feelings in the readers. Published in 1960, this classic will help parents remember what it was like when they learned their first words and it’ll get them to encourage children to enjoy this touching and simple story.
4. The Day of the Dead / El día de muertos
Here a family prepares to celebrate the Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican festivity. It follows two children as they celebrate their ancestors on this colorful holiday. They have marigolds, sugar skulls and special bread to offer the dead. By spreading marigold petals, they guide the dead home to join the festivities. Throughout the book, kids will learn about this cultural tradition and enjoy the images that show the essential elements and symbols that make it unique. Written both in English and Spanish, this book has been a huge success with kids and will help them to learn while working on their comprehension skills and having fun!
5. El Gato Leo Comes to Play: A First Spanish Story
This is a very creative book about Leo, a small blue cat that only speaks Spanish! He answers to simple directions such as “ven aquí” (come here) or “anda” (go). Children will be able to find the English equivalent of the words by lifting the flaps which makes it highly dynamic. At the end of the book there’s a small guide to pronunciation that is a great activity for parents and kids to complete together.
Do you have any other suggestions? Have you already read any of these with your children? Tell us about it! Leave a comment below and follow us on Facebook to share your opinions with us.