By Jeffrey Nelson
Photo Credit: John Morgan
For a fun way to teach your children about different cultures, expose them to books that will give them a greater appreciation for other nationalities. Children will be fascinated by other customs and traditions that children just like themselves experience.
Below is a list of the top 5 bilingual books to invest in to start broadening your child’s world view; whether for travel or a brighter future and a better chance at a great job!
1) If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway: An Introduction to Learning About Other Cultures, by Carole P. Roman
These pages are chock full of interesting facts that will keep your child engaged. Roman will expose them to facts about months of the year where the sun doesn’t set and the light fills the horizon. Your children will be exposed to common children’s names and terms of endearment for their own parents. Simple facts and customs about Norway will be conveyed in easy to understand language.
2) My First Book of Japanese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book, by Michelle Haney Brown and Aya Padron
Brown geared this book toward preschoolers and has a pronunciation chart to help adults teach the sounds to children. The words that are taught are presented in an ABC structured sequence to make it easier for English speaking children to understand and follow. Brown touches on all three Japanese alphabets; Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana.
3) If You Were Me and Lived in…France: A Child’s Introduction to Culture’s Around the World, by Carole P. Roman
In this book Roman will have you and your young one touring France with the flip of a few pages. Some of the greatest highlights of France, such as the Eiffel Tower and Paris, will be visited. You will also find at the back of the book a list of French words along with their pronunciations.
4) Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection, by Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, Felipe Davalos and Susan Guevara
Children will be swept away with the tales in this collection of Hispanic folklore. Campoy describes the stories she heard from her grandmother that had been passed down for generations. Combined with beautiful artwork, this book will give your child great exposure to Hispanic culture.
5) The Word Collector: La Coleccionista de Palabras, Sonja Wimmer
Wimmer explores language in this whimsical book by splashing words all over the page to be collected. The book is offered both in English and Spanish. Your child will develop a greater understand of written language as they collect these words.
Be sure to get your hands on these books and begin filling your child’s developing mind with tales of other countries and traditions. Expand their knowledge and appreciation of the languages and cultures around them.
Jeffrey Nelson is a bilingual husband, father, and author who writes on bilingualism about raising his bilingual child with his wife. His goal is to promote bilingualism and dispel the myths that being bilingual is somehow a disadvantage. He lives in the Midwestern United States with his wife, Gyovanna, and their 11-month old son, Liam. You can read more from him at livingbilingual.com.