I love books and as I´ve mentioned before, I´d love to pass on my passion for reading to my daughter so I thought I´d take another look at what´s on our bookshelf. We have quite a few of the famous children´s classics in English,such as Dear Zoo,Where´s Spot? (which I actually bought for teaching English purposes!) and Guess How Much I Love You.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell is a great book for babies and toddlers as it has many flaps that young children love lifting up or opening, which helps to involve the children in the story. It introduces many animals and has very bright and colourful illustrations to grab children´s interest. With its simplistic text it is also a great book for the ESL classroom.Here are some further reviews on Amazon.
Where´s Spot? by Eric Hill is also a lift-the flap book about a mother dog´s hunt for her puppy,Spot.Again it is beautifully and colourfully illustrated and its simplistic text makes it ideal for the ESL classroom.It also introduces many animals, furniture and prepositions.Here you can read other people´s reviews. My daughter really enjoys these books especially lifting up the flaps, we just have to be careful that she doesn´t rip them!
I haven´t bought many bilingual books so far and at the moment I only have one:
Cinderella/Cenicienta published by Susaeta Ediciones. It is a very thin book with lovely illustrations but is aimed at an older audience than my daughter, probably around 4-5 year olds!The story is very condensed with it being in both languages. Susaeta Ediciones have published quite a few popular fairy tales in their Cuentos Bilingues and they are ok. When I borrowed another of their Cuentos Bilingues(Little Red Riding Hood) from the library, my husband was reading the Spanish tale to my daughter and his verdict was that it wasn´t very well-written.
The final book I´m going to look at isn´t a book that I own but one that I borrowed from the library. There are quite a few books in English at the library in my city,more than I expected to find anyway, although a lot are aimed at Spanish children learning English. The majority of the English books are translations of Spanish books and as we´ve already borrowed most of the "true" English books, I decided to get the following book out " Tento and his tooth"by Ricardo Alcantara, a translation of the Spanish book. At first, everything started off great, lovely illustrations and the story seemed interesting but as I read on, I noticed a number of translation errors (or printing mistakes). For example, Ratoncito Perez was translated as Tooth Mouse instead of the Tooth Fairy and there were also a couple of grammatical errors such as a double past e.g. didn´t wanted etc. I know I can correct the mistakes when I read it aloud to my daughter but if she were to read it herself when she was older,she´d be reading incorrect English and therefore learning it so I´m trying to avoid translated books as much as possible. However, this narrows down the amount of English books available to borrow from the library. If my daughter turns out to be as big a bookworm as her mum, the library won´t have enough English books to keep her going(but they do have loads of Spanish books)!! Although I´m going to buy her plenty of books,I don´t know where I´m going to keep them all!!!
Last but not least, I´ve been doing some more background reading and if you are interested in finding out more info about bringing up children bilingually, then you might find the following article interesting and useful: Ask A Linguist FAQ, which gives two different perspectives about bringing up children bilingually from linguists.