b small Children’s Language Books Review

Reviewed by Debbie Talbot and Lauren (Age 6)

Being a bilingual languages graduate I have always been keen for my little girl (now 6) to learn languages as early as possible.  We were recently lucky enough to review some language books from b small publishing.

English French – Food – La nourriture
This book had my 6 year old mesmerised. It has a striking illustration on the cover and has just the right number of pages to keep children interested.  Good sized font and lovely illustrations.  The book even tells the child how to pronounce the word and has a useful summary at the back of all words learnt in the book. Days after reading the book Lauren can recollect the French words for each food item.

A huge thumbs up from Lauren and I.

I Can Read French – Puppy Finds a Friend – Le petit chien se trouve un ami

This is Lauren’s favourite book. She loves showing it to any friends who come over. It has useful parent notes as well as a picture dictionary and pronunciation guide. It is just the right length to keep the child’s interest.  Each page has a beautiful illustration with sentences in both French and English. The story itself is lovely in that the puppy finds a best friend.  The text is just the right size to read easily. We read this book several times a week and Lauren can now recall a lot of the vocabulary.

English – French – Picture Dictionary

Wonderful colourful picture dictionary with over 350 words and 35 themes.  Our favourite themes are the zoo and colours.  This is perfect to grab and keep a child’s attention.  Lauren can now recall many of the words in the dictionary.

First French with Superchat
This fantastic book is bold and striking in colour and even has an audio CD.  The flash cards, poster and badges are well thought out and encourage a child to learn.  The games, activities and songs are great fun.  I have run Language clubs for children and have seen the less traditional, fun methods such as used here to be more effective with language learning.  I can’t wait to do more of the activities with Lauren.

Hide and Speak French
This colourful book has a novel but fantastic approach.  On the left hand side of each double page is a theme with a beautiful image and sentences in both languages.   On the right hand page are two columns, one with pictures and one with the words.  At the back of the books are flaps you can put over either the picture or words on each right hand page to hide the word for you to recall and speak it. Eg meaning in English from the French wording or word in French from the picture.   There are over 130 key words in this book. I can’t wait to work more on this book with Lauren and for her to remember more and more of the words and phrases.

French Fun

This fantastic language resource book has games, puzzles, dot-to-dot and wordsearch. The activities are easy to follow and reinforce the words the child is learning.  So far we have done the exercise where you dress the boy and girl up in various clothes and recall the name of the clothes they are wearing.  This way works really well.  We also enjoyed the picture matching activity.

Children’s Classics in Spanish

This lovely book contains the Snow White story in easy Spanish as well as a mini theatre the child can make and then put on a live show. I am learning along with Lauren as I don’t speak Spanish myself, just fluent French and German but this resource would be great for a Spanish Language or Drama Club. Acting out a story reinforces the vocabulary and increases the confidence of even the shyest children. The book can be photocopied in order to give copies of the script to other participants. There are also Snow White characters to colour in and cut out and a very useful set of Teacher’s notes. I can’t wait to read the other titles in this series. My daughter and I already have a lot of the titles as hard backed story books but this is such a fantastic, novel idea!

Overall, provides top standard fantastic language resources which are helping both my daughter and myself learn Spanish and myself teach my daughter French.  I would not hesitate to buy more of their books.  Languages are such a useful skill for life.  I use my French and German every day and have used both on a regular basis since leaving university.  Languages open up so many more opportunities in life and learning a language when young gives a child the best possible start.  It is so rewarding to see the delighted look on their face when they remember a word you are asking them.

Rating: 5/5

All these titles can be purchased from b small publishing.

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