Bilingual Books (July/August 2008)

There were only a few bilingual and foreign-language children’s books this time. Rather than write two bare-bones posts, I’m combining the Reading Ahead (previews) and Book Bag (review) columns for Bilingual Books.

First I’d like to call attention to the Step by Step Reading Corner, a non-profit publisher dedicated to literacy. They create children’s picture books in many languages, including French, Spanish, and Slavic languages (think: Russia and Eastern Europe). These are not bilingual books, but you can buy the same book in English and the language of your choice. Check out the Step by Step Reading Corner store at Big Universe to read the stories online. Here are some of the titles that have caught our eye. They were all published by the International Step by Step Association in 2007.

A Mango for Grandpa by Caroline Hudicourt, illustrated by Ismer Saincilus We are interested in the growing collection of stories that help a child deal with an aging/dying grandparent. Read this book online at Big Universe.

Moush Wants to Get Lost by Rouzanna Baghdasaryn, illustrated by Yulia Lushnikova. Moush is a little boy having a bad day. He thinks running away will help. Read this book online at Big Universe.

The Doll’s Nose by Miranda Haxhia, illustrated by Ursula Kohrer. Clara and Ana invited Mary to play dolls with them. But Mary was too embarrassed, she didn’t have a doll. So when she couldn’t buy one, she made one. Achoo! Oh, no. Mary had forgotten about her doll’s nose! What could she use? “This is a creative, well-balanced story. It doesn’t overplay the family’s poverty and Ana and Clara are not mean about having dolls. It has just the right blend of independence and creativity you hope to see in a story, and I love how the other girls want to have dolls that are just like Mary’s. It would be nice to find more stories like this one.” Read this book online at Big Universe.

Here are the other attention-grabbers.

Keisha’s Doors / Las Puertas de Keisha and Tacos Anyone / Alguien quiere tacos? by Marvie Ellis, illustrated by Jenny Loehr These are the first two titles in a picture book series about children with autism. I am encouraged to see picture books to help children understand autism in their peers, and they are bilingual to boot! (Speech Kids Texas Press, Inc.)


Mandy and Pandy Visit China and Mandy and Pandy Play Sports by Chris Lin, illustrated by Ingrid Villalta These are two titles in Mandy and Pandy, a bilingual boardbook series in English and Chinese. Each book comes with a CD so that you can follow along and also hear pronunciation. The book is read three times: Slow dialogue, alternating English and Chinese; word-by-word in Chinese; and
conversational Chinese. These would have been fun to have BEFORE the Olympics!(Mandy and Pandy, LLC, 2008)