Since we’re raising our son in to be multilingual, we’ve spent a ton of time trying to find multimedia to supplement his speaking. This spans the gamut from enrolling him in Spanish-speaking playgroups and trying to find Spanish speaking-preschools to finding YouTube videos and, of course, books where possible. When we visited Spain in the past, we always loaded up on Spanish books and lugged our heavy suitcases back to the States.
In case you’re reading this post looking for recommended multimedia to help raise a bilingual child, here are a few that have been our son’s favorites for Spanish. I thought it might help other parents given how much time we’ve spent looking for and even dollar-wise on books:
Our son really loves any of the Señor Coc series (Spanish version of Mr. Croc) by Jo Lodge. These books are pop-ups and the stories all end roughly the same way, with the main character jumping out and trying to “eat” the reader, but surprisingly, our son always found this an amusing rather than a scary surprise. Might depend on the toddler. The first book we bought was Toc, Toc, Señor Coc (theme of the book is about how to tell time), but have since supplemented it with ¿Está Preparado, Señor Coc? (about getting dressed to go out) and Imita al Señor Coc (moving body parts like nodding, waving, etc.) and Los Amigos del Señor Coc (a larger, 11″x11″ lift-the-flap book to find Mr. Croc’s friends).
Te Quiero Por Todo Eso, the Spanish version of “The Way I Love You” by David Bedford, is a sweet picture book about a girl and her dog. The Spanish version rhymes whereas the English version does not.
Buenas Noches Gorila (Spanish version of “Goodnight Gorilla”) by Peggy Rathman. We have the board book version. I admit when I first picked up this book off the shelf, I was put off by the colors, but I thought the drawings were well done. It’s one of those books your infant can grow into as a toddler too. It’s a simple story, but pay attention to the details in the drawings. Our son enjoys finding the moon and the balloon (the latter is at least partly visible on every page), and it’s a fun book for adults too if you’re one of those people who like noticing differences between before-and-after and those newspaper puzzles that quizzed you on differences between picture A and picture B.
My First Spanish Word Book, published by Dorling Kindersley. It’s small enough to be transportable and a key favorite at mealtimes. After learning the names of all the objects, you can ask your child “¿Dónde está el teléfono?” (“Where’s the telephone?”) and he’ll happily flip through the book to hunt for it.
There you have it, just a few examples of different books we’ve found that have worked so far with our son, who’s now 21 months of age. Do you have books that you’d recommend? Feel free to include them in the comments below!