books

10 Great Kids Books With Global Appeal

boooks Sail away with your kids to magical lands across the sea – just by picking up a book. These 10 great kids books will give your family a glimpse of cultures and a taste of languages around the world. You can read all of them in English, but if you’re feeling up to it, several (such as the French classic The Little Prince) can easily be found in their original language. Whatever you choose, reading with your kids is a great way to bond and let their imaginations grow. Plus, it’s one step closer to getting ready for school, which will be here before you know it.

Europe

1. The Adventures of TinTin (Belgium) – A dog and his intrepid young reporter owner solve mysteries around the world – the comic strip imagery is especially popular with young children; and the comics are also available in French.

2. The Little Prince – A lovely French classic that tells the story of an aviator who meets a prince from a distant asteroid while stranded in the desert. This is a good one to try in French if you can.

3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Take a trip through Paris with the vivid pencil images in this imaginative story of Hugo, a boy who lives in a train station in Paris, and the friend who helps uncover his mechanical secret.

4. Strega Nona—Although written in English, this is the tale of an Italian “Grandma Witch” who lives in Calabria and makes enough pasta to bury an entire town. There are more than a dozen Strega Nona stories to keep the pasta-fueled fun going.

Scandinavia

5. Pippi Longstocking –Sweden’s contribution to global kids’ imaginations is this firecracker of a main character, a red-headed 9-yr-old with a with a suitcase full of gold, a pet monkey, and horse on her front porch. A great read out loud book that will make you and your kids laugh out loud.

6. The Moomins – A Swedish/Finnish illustrated collection of books about a family of animal-like creatures. The pictures are sure to captivate kids, and if they really love it, there’s even a Moomin theme park in Finland!

Asia

9780698113824_xlg7. Lon Po Po – A Red Riding Hood Story from China – In this Chinese reworking of the classic Grimm fairytale, three sisters in rural China outwit the (heads up, relatively scary looking) Lon Po Po (Granny Wolf). Great for kids who like their stories to keep them on the edge of their seat.

8. The REAL Story of Stone Soup – Another children’s classic story with a Chinese twist. This time three clever brothers turn stones into egg drop soup – keep an eye out for Chinese vocabulary sprinkled throughout the story.

Africa

Unknown9. Anansi The Spider – From West Africa comes this Ashanti fable of a small spider who must make a big decision.

10. We All Went on Safari -- A counting journey through a safari in Tanzania. There’s a surprising amount of rhythmic Swahili vocabulary tucked into the illustrations of animals.

Little Pim books are here!

Little Pim Books are here! We are very excited to share with you the publication of our first books for young learners of Spanish and French, called FEELINGS and COLORS. The books make delightful companions to our Spanish and French learning system of DVDs, flash cards, CDs and interactive games. They tell colorful simple stories for kids aged one through age four, and are full of pull tabs, lift the flaps, and of course, their favorite panda, Little Pim!

In FEELINGS, Little Pim helps kids learn how to say useful phrases like “I am happy” and “I am scared” and “I am shy” and in COLORS we learn seven colors, through a balloon treasure hunt that ends in a surprise party! The books are written in English, with French and Spanish words and phrases throughout, and as always, we include easy phonetics so that parents can use these even if they don’t speak the language themselves.

I love reading books to my children and never found the right bilingual books that were engaging and interactive. These books will help you bring French and Spanish learning to storytime in a new, super fun way.

Like all Little Pim products, our books are beautifully designed, affordable, and easy to use. Two more books in this series, published by Abrams Publishing, will come out in the Spring, so stay tuned. For languages other than Spanish and French, look out for our e-books, coming soon!

To order the books, click here.

 

Full Stomach, Happy Heart

If you’re anything like me, you are delighted if you can find a cute new book that will:1) stimulate your child’s mind

2) teach a few new words in another language

3) introduce different cultures

I recently discovered the adorable and beautifully illustrated, “A Mango in the Hand” that delivers on all three! This new title from Abrams Books is about a little boy named Francisco, who goes on a mission to pick some mangos and has adventures along the way that are both entertaining and teach valuable life lessons. The book is written in English, but is full of Spanish sayings like “no hay mal que por bien no venga” (every cloud has a silver lining) and all the Spanish expressions are listed in a glossary at the end.

I had fun doggy-paddling my way through the Spanish phrases (neither Emmett nor I actually speak Spanish, but we both like the way it sounds!). The book offers a lot of chances to ask your child “what do you think that saying means?” and have an interesting talk about the challenges of growing up, making mistakes, and sometimes misreading people. I actually got a little teary at the part where the “crabby aunt” turns out to be the hero and teaches her nephew “amor con amor se paga” (love is repaid with love). I’m also a big fan of expression ”barriga llena, corazón contento” (full stomach, happy heart). I can’t believe they don’t have the equivalent in French!

Make sure to have some mangos on hand when you read the book, you’ll be craving one after you’re done!

If you like books that teach, look out for Little Pim books, coming out this summer! Your children will have fun learning words and phrases with their favorite panda in these colorful board books. There will be four books in all, starting with COLORS and FEELINGS, in English with Spanish and French lift the flaps and pull-tabs. Check back on our website or sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when the books are released!

Little Pim Books – Colors and Feelings in English, Spanish, French.