The familiar mantra that children immersed in a language “soak it up like a sponge”, while adults apparently don’t, is not in itself proof of the existence of a critical period for language learning. But it is both easier and more important for children to quickly become good in a second language they hear spoken around them. There are many reasons for this: children can spend more time and effort on learning than adults; the motivation for children to fit in is much higher and the habits of pronunciation and grammar of their first language are less deeply ingrained and thus easier to overcome. And, of course, all learning gets harder with age. All these factors do make younger learners of a new language eventually outperform older ones. This is the reason why a lot of parents want their children to learn a foreign language such Spanish. And books are a great way to achieve it. Here you have 5 bilingual books that help your kids learn Spanish.
1 – First 100 Words: This must-have for little learners is the ideal tool for teaching new words in both English and Spanish. There are over 100 eye-catching photographs of food, pets, toys and more that children will recognize from their everyday environment, each with big, bold labels printed underneath in both English and Spanish. A great aid for building vocabulary and teaching sight words in both languages.
Author: Roger Priddy
Age Range: Baby – 3 years
2 – The Cat in the Hat: The time-honored story of an offbeat cat with questionable taste in accessories (a hat… but no pants?) has been translated into several bilingual editions, helping kids learn to read in different languages through rhyme and humor. Written by Dr. Seuss in 1957 in response to the concern that “pallid primers [with] abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls’ were leading to growing illiteracy among children, The Cat in the Hat (the first Random House Beginner Book) changed the way our children learn how to read.
Author: Dr. Suess.
Age Range: 3 – 7 years
3 – Lotería: First Words, Primeras Palabras: Inspired by the popular Mexican card game of the same name, Lotería uses images of cards featuring everyday items and symbols to teach children to name them in both English and Spanish. Lil’ Libros baby board books uses a simple one word/one image per page format to introduce the littlest readers to first concepts such as numbers, colors, and body parts. Lil’ Libros also introduces children to Latin American culture, history, and traditions.
Author: Patty Rodríguez and Ariana Stein
Age Range: 3 and up
4 – Oli / Ollie: Gossie and Gertie just can’t wait for their new friend Ollie to come out of his shell, but though they try everything they can think of, he won’t come out! Ollie is Ollie, and only he will decide when it’s time to hatch. Fans of Gossie and Gossie and Gertie will find Ollie just as charming and delightful as the rest of his farmyard friends, and any toddler that has had to wait for a new brother or sister will find Ollie irresistible. Bilingual babies and new language learners will love the gentle text and charming illustrations in this simple and sweet story, featuring Spanish and English bilingual text set in two colors for easy readability.
Author: Olivier Dunrea
Age Range: 1 – 3 years
5 – The Moon is La Luna: This book is full of monos, ratons, and osos. What’s that, you say? You don’t know what a mono is? What about a rio, some pelo, or even an árbol? No? Still no idea? You should read this libro, then. By the time you finish, you’ll be able to recognize and understand more than fifty simple Spanish words. You’ll be saying, “Mas, por favor!” You may even ask your papá to buy you a gato or pato. (But not your papa. Potatoes can’t buy pets.)
Author: Jay M. Harris
Age Range: 4 years