Bosley, the Language Bear

Bosley Goes to the Beach – A new adventure in 2013!

Bosley’s first book, “Bosley Sees the World” has been such a great hit that the second book in the series is now in production!  The manuscript has been written and many of the translations have already been done.  The illustrations are underway as I type and everyone is very excited, especially Bosley!

This book promises to be even better than the first, with much more to learn and see with Bosley.  In this story, he meets a bird, a fish and a crab at the beach and learns about the places they live and the things they do.  Words like “fly”, “swim”, “jump”, “sand”, “water” and more beach and animal related words with teaching methods including repeat words, opposites, useful phrases and corresponding imagery.

The illustrations are shaping up to be just as great as the first book and there will be even more pages in this book, leading to that much more fun with Bosley!

We’re all looking forward to it and I hope you will follow us on Facebook for the latest updates and sneak peaks at the illustrations when they come out!

How to Chose Books for Bilingual Children

Choosing the right books for children is never an easy task, especially considering the multitude of options that are available. But when choosing ID-10092398books for a bilingual child, it is important to consider their level in the new language, their interests and their developmental level overall.

Types of Books for Bilingual Children

There are two main categories of books for bilingual children. These consist of dual language and singular language books.

Dual language books usually contain both languages, either by combining the languages on the same page, or displaying them in separate sections in relation to the same story. They are useful in many ways. They help the child to feel comfortable and familiar with both languages in an easy way, helping them to compare the features of the languages (such as sounds and pronunciation) head on. In fact, contrary to the opinion that these books can confuse children learning a new language, they actually help them to develop multiple language skills simultaneously. They allow them the opportunity to transfer meaning from their first language into the new language and acquire new vocabulary and concepts with certainty and clarity.

Singular language books focused on one language only, also have positive benefits for the bilingual child. Although the points mentioned in relation to dual language books are certainly true, it is important to consider that some children do have difficulties learning a new second language. Children who have language delays or learning disabilities, may need to put the new language into a much clearer and identifiable context. Therefore they may learn , better by isolating new vocabulary and focusing on one language at a time.

Tips for Choosing Books for your Bilingual child

1. In the case of most bilingual children, it is important to present them with a mix of both dual and singular language books, in order to present them with a wide variety of ways to see, hear and understand the language. As long as you choose books that are appropriate for their learning abilities and developmental age, they will eventually compare and process the information from both styles.

2. Try to choose books that are applicable to their language learning abilities. Although you should always choose books that are appropriate for your child’s developmental level and age, some language learners may benefit from second language books that are also a little below their current level in the first language.

3. Choose books that are particularly inviting and motivating for your bilingual child. Books that tell tale and fantastic tales will help to boost their imagination in the new language and get them really interested in the story.

4. Whether you choose singular or dual language books for your child, try to find books that use a lot of illustration or pictures, bright colors and clear images. Even preschoolers or school-aged children will benefit from these visual aids in their second language books.

5. Make sure the books you choose are relevant to your child’s daily life, routines and interests. A child is much more likely to get involved in the book or the story in the new language, if they can relate it to their everyday experiences in the first language.


6.   Involve your bilingual child in choosing their books in the new language. This can help you to awaken their interest in books, reading and stories in the second language.

Image courtesy of [pixtawan] /

8 Ways to Boost the Minority Language in a Bilingual Family

In most bilingual families one language is usually spoken more than the other. This may be because one of the parents is a native speaker from that country and perhaps the family is living there, immersed in the language. Or it may be due to the fact, that a family has chosen one to focus on as a children-around-the-worldprimary language, which is then used most during family life, to give instructions, to communicate and most of all, to resolve conflicts. In any case, most bilingual adults never actually reach 100% verbal perfection in either of their languages and it is difficult to expect bilingual children to do the same. But how can we maximize the potential of the “minority” language in a bilingual family?

1. Create the Motivation!

It is fine for one language to be a priority on a bilingual family. But if this is the case, it is important to let the children know that both languages are equally important and useful, even if one is used more frequently than another. Parents in bilingual families need to create reasons for their children to want to learn the minority language and make it relevant to their lives and their first language too! Be sure to find ways to make the new language relevant to their personal interests and try including it in the activities that they most enjoy.


2. Read, Read, Read

Reading or telling stories in the minority language can be an excellent way to spark children’s interest in it. Provide your children with singular or dual language books for them to compare and contrast both languages and connect meanings between the two.


3. Connect the Language to the Family History

Language only really comes alive when it is placed in a clear and meaningful context. So be sure to take the time to create that meaning and context for your child with the minority language in the family. Talk to them about family history, culture and traditions of the country where the language is spoken. Why not bring it alive by recreating those traditions and cooking a favorite family recipe or celebrating the most popular traditions.


4. Divide Parenting Language Roles

Although it may be tempting for both parents to speak the primary and minority language to their children, this can become confusing and even overwhelming for these new learners. Parents should aim to speak their native languages to their children when possible. This allows the bilingual child time to focus on one language at a time from each parent, separating them and connecting them to their parent’s identity, while making connections between the clear differences


5. Make Time for Minority Language

Although a child who is learning a second language within the family may be constantly exposed to it to some degree, it is important to make time to focus on the language specifically. Setting aside specific time for second language time playtime or other activities, allows the parent and the child time to focus and concentrate on the current language goals at hand.


6. Music, Rhythm and Dance

Young children often learn a great deal though music and rhythm, especially if their musical intelligence or sensitivity to music are particularly well developed. And this applies to second language learning as well. Listening to and singing along with songs, chants and finger plays in the minority language, are excellent ways of teaching “chunks” of the new language to the child, as well as making it fun and memorable for them.


7. Provide Extra Resources

Modern children enjoy versatile ways of learning and thrive on new opportunities and materials for doing so. Provide you child with a wide variety of resources for practicing and experimenting with the minority language. Whether this involves watching TV or movies in the target language, downloading iPad or Computer applications relevant to the language or looking for games, arts and crafts and other activities that demonstrate the language to them, these resources will all surely draw in their interest.


8. Get outside help!

Sometimes getting a child to focus on learning the minority language can be hard, particularly if they know all family members already speak their first language. Even though one or more parent may be native speakers in the target language, it is sometimes more beneficial to seek outside support in the shape of language classes or activities in the target language. Children may feel more comfortable expressing themselves with someone outside of the family unit, while they are still learning.

Bilingual Christmas Books for Children

The Christmas Gift / El regalo de Navidad (Spanish Edition)
With honesty and rare grace, award-winning author Francisco Jiménez shares his most poignant Christmas memory in this remarkable book. Illustrated with paintings full of strength and warmth, written in spare bilingual text, this simple story celebrates the true spirit of Christmas, and illuminates how children do indeed draw strength from the bonds of their families.
Italian Language Poster – Christmas / Natale: Bilingual Chart for Classroom and Playroom
Colorful poster for the classroom and for the playroom, for Italian language teachers and for parents teaching Italian to their children. Decorate your kids room or use for your Italian school. Make learning fun! Includes most common Christmas related words, listed in Italian with the corresponding English translation.
Frohliche Weihnachten: Learning Songs & Traditions in German Book & Audio CD (Teach Me) (Teach Me Series) (German Edition)
Learn the customs and traditions of Christmas in Germany through a bilingual story while enjoying the season’s favorite songs. This beautifully illustrated 32 page hardcover book comes with an audio CD, including the narration in German and 15 songs to sing along and enjoy.
Bilingual Christmas Carols & Songs -English & French Versions (feat. Marielle Dawson)
Bilingual Children’s Books: Christmas for Kids/La Navidad Para Niños (Spanish Books for Children)
Now you can enjoy Andrew Miller’s best-selling “Christmas For Kids” in a bilingual English-Spanish version!That’s right, this fun Early Readers Book is now more educational than ever. Your child can now read the original English version and the newly translated Spanish version side-by-side.Each sentence is meticulously translated to retain the original meaning and tone. Your child will associate familiar Christmas terms and facts with their Spanish counterparts. In this way, your child will absorb the Spanish language effortlessly and quickly, and it won’t even feel like “learning.” So get ready to spend quality time together with your child as you enjoy seeing Christmas pictures and learning fun and intriguing facts about Christmas.


Coloriamo il Natale! – Let’s Color Christmas!: Calendario dell’Avvento da Colorare – Advent Coloring Book (Italian Edition)
Create extra excitement for the arrival of Christmas Day and learn Italian words and numbers with this Christmas countdown coloring book! As your child counts down the days until Christmas, he will learn one Italian word and one number each day as he colors 24 pictures, one for each of the first 24 days of December. The simple yet cheerful images will keep little hands busy and entertained. Bilingual: Italian and English text – Ages 3-6
Merry Navidad!: Christmas Carols in Spanish and English/Villancicos en espanol e ingles

Resuenen con alegría
los cánticos de mi tierra
que viva el Niño Jesús
que ha nacido en Nochebuena.It’s time to sing out with joy
the songs that are sung in my land
in praise of the precious Child
born this holy Christmas evening.

Come share the joy of a Hispanic Christmas!In this warm and vibrant collection of traditional Spanish Christmas carols, or villancicos, noted authors Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy bring to life the holiday traditions of Latin America and Spain. The creative English adaptations by Rosalma Zubizarreta both capture the spirit of the originals and add a new dimension to the songs. And Spanish illustrator Viví Escrivá’s spirited illustrations are perfect backdrops for the lyrics, adding rich holiday flavor.Come sing along! ¡Feliz Navidad! and Merry Christmas!



Help, Children! The Monsters Kidnapped Santa Claus: Bilingual Book in English and Spanish
Help, Children! The Monsters Kidnapped Santa Claus is written in English and Spanish. This book tells of Diblo, a little orphaned monster with a pure heart, who does not fit in with his cruel monster peers. The story follows Diblo as he embarks on a great adventure, leading ultimately to a Christmas nobody could forget. It features monsters, an evil plot against Santa Claus, a mother bear, and children helping in a rescue. “¡Ayuda, niños! Los monstruos han secuestrado a Santa Claus” es un libro escrito en inglés y en español. Este libro habla de Diblo, un pequeño monstruo huérfano, de gran corazón que no congeniaba con el resto de los otros monstruos. La historia habla de la aventura de Diblo y de la mejor de las navidades. Habla de monstruos, de la terrible conspiración contra Santa Claus, de una madre osa y de la ayuda de los niños en el rescate.
Feliz Navidad: Learning Songs and Traditions in Spanish (Teach Me) (Book & Audio CD) (Teach Me) (Spanish Edition)
Learn the customs and traditions of Christmas in Mexico through a bilingual story while enjoying the season’s favorite songs. This beautifully illustrated 32 page hardcover book comes with an audio CD, including the narration in Spanish and 20 songs to sing along and enjoy.

How Books Help Bilingual Children Learn

Parents are often concerned about instilling a love for books in their children. Yet ironically, books and reading are innately fascinating to young children since an early age. Children who are presented with picture or storybooks since they are babies or toddlers, are usually fascinated by the pictures, enthralled by the story and want to talk about it with the person reading to them. And they are likely to be more avid readers as they grow ID-10053934up. Stories and reading are a natural and essential part of children’s development, allowing them to develop their imagination, improve language skills and learn about their immediate surroundings, as well as the wider world. But how do picture and storybooks benefit bilingual children? Are there any special benefits for using books with children learning a second language?

It is important to evaluate how children learn from books in their first language. To begin with, reading with young children in general, supports their cognitive as well as language development. It allows them to develop strong listening skills and develop the foundations for creative and critical thinking skills. Reading stories helps them to learn about, identify and recognize language and vocabulary, as well as place it in a context that has meaning. And there is no doubt that story and picture books aid the development of creativity, imagination and attention span. Children who are read to from an early age, are comfortable with books and learn to appreciate how enticing a story can be. These children usually grow up with a positive attitude to reading in their first language and may often find it easier to learn to read later on. In addition, the positive bonding experience involved in snuggling down to listen to a story, can be relaxing, calming and soothing to any child.

So how do these truths about stories and reading affect bilingual children? It is probably equally or even more important, that children learning a second language are exposed to it through picture books, stories and storytelling experiences. If we take on board all of the ways that books and reading help children to develop overall, there are definitely additional advantages for bilingual children.

First of all, reading books or being told stories in the second language helps young children to understand the new vocabulary they are learning and place it in a meaningful context. When they see the language in books either in an illustrated or written form, they can connect the sounds of the words and their letters to the images they see. In the same way, this allows them to make connections between the first and second language. They can visualize clearly, that there are two words that mean the same thing in both languages. In a similar way, reading books in the second language helps preschool aged children to realize that letters that look the same in both languages actually sound very different.

Second of all, stories provide an all-important opportunity for children to improve their listening skills in the second language. They get the chance to practice their listening skills and learn to be able to recognize sounds in the new language. And in the same way, late preschoolers or school-aged children learn to improve their pronunciation when reading out loud, while raising their self-confidence in the new language.

So there is no doubt that stories and reading have enormous benefits for children learning a second, third or even fourth language. However it is important to make these experiences motivating, fun and enjoyable for them. As useful and important as these activities are for bilingual children, it is normal for them to get the two languages and their sounds mixed up in the beginning. Bilingual kids should find stories and reading in their new language just as magical and enthralling as they do in their first language.

Multicultural Gift Ideas for Children

Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Zlatovlaska i Tri Medvedya (Russian & English)
“Stop, Goldilocks, go back home. Woods aren’t safe when you’re all alone!” But Goldilocks doesn’t listen to the warning. She walks through the woods until she comes to the bears’ house with the steaming bowls of porridge. This time, one of most loved tales is being told in English & 41NLa1Y7MJL._SL160_Russian languages on the same pages, printed side by side. With full-page cuddly color illustrations!
Learn Chinese Through Fairy Tales: Cinderella : Level 1 (Foreign Language Through Fairy Tales)
Each fairy tale starts in English, then slowly MORPHS INTO MANDARIN CHINESEBegin with LEVEL 1! This book will teach your child 20+ new Mandarin Chinese words in a fun, fast, and truly easy way! Here s how it works…

* An English word in the fairy tale is circled with its Mandarin Chinese translation in the column.

* From that moment forward, the Chinese word (written in red) will be used throughout the rest of the story… and it will be used again and again in context! * As the fairy tale progresses, more and more Chinese words are added like a big language train gathering words along the way.61V50Ufh+3L._SL160_

* The new words are repeated throughout the story helping to reinforce understanding.

* By the end of the book, the child has easily learned 20+ new Chinese words in context!

It’s easy! And remember… each level uses words taught from previous levels…so you ll want to continue with the next levels. By the end of the last level, the fairy tale will be written almost entirely in Chinese – and it will be easy to understand EVERYTHING!

Included: Audio MP3 with narration, sound effects, & fully orchestrated original music
**Composed, arranged, and performed**
by Slangman David Burke!

Let’s Learn Italian Picture Dictionary
Created by leading educators, these colorful, large-size dictionaries introduce beginning language learners to more than 1,550 commonly taught basic words. Each Let’s Learn Language Picture Dictionary in the series boasts 30 delightful two-page spreads that vividly illustrate the meanin61EJ1zija1L._SL160_gs of words. Fun-filled panoramas focus on scenes familiar to children aged three through eight, such as home life, the classroom, city life, sports, the zoo, and even outer space! Learners will love to revisit these detailed depictions of people, places, actions, and objects, each time improving their recall. Featured words are set off with individual illustrations and definitions to help learners at various levels build vocabulary. Includes an index and glossary of all the individually illustrated words. An ideal selection of first word books for parents and teachers who want to encourage second language acquisition.
Curious George at the Aquarium/Jorge el curioso visita el acuario (bilingual edition) (English and Spanish Edition)
The aquarium is one big, exciting place for a little monkey. George’s curiosity helps him make lots of new friends . . . and get into lots of mischief too. But when a baby penguin is in trouble, George comes to the rescue as only a monkey can!
The new English/Spanish edition includes highly readable text and bilingual bonus activities. More than 680,000 copies sold in all formats!514QSRBNJmL._SL160_
Charlotte in Paris
It’s 1892. Charlotte and her family have lived abroad in the famous artist colony in Giverny, France, for a year, when an exciting invitation arrives. The celebrated impressionist Mary Cassatt is having an exhibition in Paris. While in Paris, Charlotte dines at a cafe on the Champs-Elysees, watches a marionette show in the Tuileries gardens and celebrates her birthday at the Eiffel Tower. Illustrated with stunning museum reproductions of works by artists such as Monet, Degas, Cassatt, Renoir and Rodin as well as lovely watercolor collages, this sequel toCharlotte in Giverny also includes biographical sketches of the featured painters. Charlotte’s charming scrapbook will leave fans of the first book, art lovers, Francophiles and readers of all ages shouting, “Vive Charlotte!”51eI53SJvzL._SL160_

Bosley Goes to Fiji to Help Improve Literacy!


I recently met a woman by the name of Shelly Darmanin who is heading up an effort to send quality children’s books to the remote and isolated schools in Fiji to help the children there improve their reading and writing skills.  I figured Bosley would most likely LOVE to take a trip to Fiji, I know I would!  So two copies of Bosley Sees the World are now on a lifelong excusion to the island of Fiji!  I’m so jealous of Bosley, I’m sure he’s going to meet all sorts of great children over there and have marvelous, wild adventures!

You can find out more about Shelly’s effort and this project at her facebook page:

Bon Voyage Bosley!  Have fun with your new friends!!

fiji kids