Bilingual Book Review: The “Our Lives, Our World” Series

In continuation of our celebration of The Bilingual Child Month, we’d like to share with you a review of three bilingual books that explore and celebrate global diversity. Read these books with your students to help them appreciate children just like them from around the world.

Goal! Let’s Play! – written by Joe Marriott and illustrated by Algy Craig Hall
Yum! Let’s Eat! – written by Thando Maclaren and illustrated by Jacqueline East
Brrmm! Let’s Go! – written by Julie Kingdon and illustrated by Leo Broadley
Paperback Ages 2-6
Review by Maureen Pugh

These three books comprise the “Our Lives, Our World” series, which explores the rich diversity of children’s lives and develops a worldwide perspective. Although the books are written and illustrated by different people, the series does have a cohesive style.

Each book introduces eleven children from eleven different countries, and every child is given a two page spread that introduces the child, and illustrates what the child is describing. The children are introduced with “my name’s Charlie …” or “I’m Abeba…”, so the text repeats the introductory phrases that we all want our children to be familiar with.

The text goes on with simple sentences, which contain mostly commonly-used vocabulary (and some new vocabulary), such as “I’m Khaled. We eat couscous and lamb tagine when we visit Grandpa.” Another example is “My name’s James, I play tennis with my family every weekend.”

Not surprisingly, Brrmm! Let’s Go! focuses on vehicles (bicycle, helicopter, tuk-tuk) and action verbs (to ride, to fly), while Goal! Let’s Play! introduces popular sports played in the country (ie, India – cricket, and Switzerland – skiing). Yum! Let’s Eat! depicts favorite foods from around the world.

The United Kingdom , China and India are mentioned in all three books; otherwise there is a variety of countries represented, ranging from Ethiopia to Dubai to Norway. All three books contain a list of key words on the back inside cover of the book, and an appendix page with a picture of the children in the book and their country name and flag.

While each book in the series can be used independently, used together, they introduce an excellent range of basic vocabulary.

Goal! Let’s Play!, Yum! Let’s Eat! and Brrmm! Let’s Go! are available in English with translations in Arabic, Bengali, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Czech, French, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu

If you’re interested in purchasing these books please visit the webpages at:

Goal! Let’s Play! http://www.languagelizard.com/Goal_Let_s_Play_p/goal.htm
Yum! Let’s Eat! http://www.languagelizard.com/Yum_Let_s_Eat_p/yum.htm
Brrmm! Let’s Go!
http://www.languagelizard.com/Brrmm_Let_s_Go_p/brm.htm

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