In a previous article, we offered tips to get you started in terms of choosing the right bilingual baby books, making dedicated reading time and reading with enthusiasm. In this post, we would like to offer some of our favorite bilingual books for babies and toddlers.
In a recent interview published in the Princeton Alumni Weekly, Casey Lew-Williams, co-director of the Princeton Baby Lab and Princeton assistant professor of psychology, discussed research regarding how young children learn and communicate, and how this supports their development. Lew-Williams mentions that quality of speech comes first, and then quantity. In other words, it’s not important to talk all the time; even when playing with a young child, you’re interacting with them and exposing them to language, often in creative and meaningful ways.
In terms of reading to babies and young children, he says: “Reading is another fantastic way to expose a child to language. Ideally you’re not just reading the pages in a book. You’re pausing to engage with the child: How does this relate to his or her life? Children’s books are more diverse in terms of vocabulary and grammar than speech. So there’s an extra value to reading, because it gets parents outside their own natural tendencies or conversational topics and into the language and ideas of an author.”
Our Favorite Bilingual Books for Babies and Toddlers
The Wheels on the Bus
In this bilingual board book by Annie Kubler, little fingers have fun finding the pre-cut holes on each page, while singing along as the driver and passengers of the bus ride through town!
In this story by Eileen Brown, best friends Handa and Akeyo are looking for animals around the hen house. This bilingual book offers a great way to learn a second language through practice with numbers, animals and environments. The children featured in this book are from the Luo tribe of south-west Kenya, and the beautiful paintings take children on a journey through the African countryside.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
The bilingual version of this book allows children to hear this classic story by Eric Carle in different languages. This book is loved for its gentle rhymes, colorful tissue paper-style artwork and introduction to colors and favorite animals.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat… If You’re Happy and You Know It… Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
These three bilingual board books by Annie Kubler help parents and children bond through singing these beloved nursery rhymes together. Their sturdy construction allows parents to spark a love of reading and encourage language development without worrying about the pages!
Walking Through the Jungle
Children love the rhymes, rhythm and repetition in this beautifully illustrated book by Debbie Harter. With the dual-language book, children can go on a great adventure with a young explorer, discovering animals and terrains throughout the world, all while being exposed to a second language.
“wren learning about iguanas” by Stacy via Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/5EZS6G