Bosley, the Language Bear

Author Interview Videos – Regarding the Creation of Bosley Sees the World

I get a lot of questions about Bosley and how I came up with the ideas for the series, and what my motivations were.  Recently I recorded a variety of answers to these questions and published them on YouTube.  A few of these videos are below, and to watch more videos and subscribe to further video publications please check out my YouTube channel.  The first three videos you see here pertain to the first book, Bosley Sees the World.

Question #1: Why did you create the Adventures of Bosley Bear?

Question #2: How can foreign language be taught using Bosley Sees the World?

Question #3:  What life lessons did you intend to teach in Bosley Sees the World?

 

Thanks for watching!

Bosley’s New Friends, Coming this Spring!

Bosley's Mountaintop Vista - Such a big world with so many possibilities!

Bosley’s Mountaintop Vista – Such a big world with so many possibilities!

This spring, inspire your children to learn a new language by bringing them on Bosley’s next adventure.

confused squirrels

In “Bosley’s New Friends”, Bosley wanders through the forest wondering why he can’t communicate with the other animals.  He gets strange looks from the animals and can’t seem to include himself in their games.  After learning how to understand what they are saying, his eyes are opened to how many new friends he can make by learning other languages.

Of course, the book is intended to teach your child new words and phrases while enjoying this inspiring story in a similar manner as previous Bosley books.  There will be labelled illustrations, repeat words, line-by-line translations and other interesting opportunities to incorporate language learning lessons into story time.

Illustrations are underway as we speak and they are coming out just as wonderfully as ever at the hand of the talented Ozzy Esha.

Meet the author, Tim Johnson

All of my self-published books to date.

All of my self-published books to date.

Hello readers and Bosley fans!  Thank you so much for all your love and support in 2013!  Bosley has another book set to be released this spring and 2-3 more books after that that will be published in 2014.  Stay tuned on Bosley’s facebook page for more information about those new books.

If you would like to know more about me as an author, please come visit my brand new FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE!

I have big plans for this year and plan to move into publishing other children’s books.  Some will be science related, some will be related to martial arts and who knows what else!  I would love to be able to stay in touch with you and share things on a more personal level through this new facebook page.  I love networking with other authors and publishers, meeting teachers, parents and interested youngsters, so please take a look and connect with me!

Have you ever wanted to write a children’s book?  I have also been helping a lot of people get started on their journey of writing a children’s book.  It’s a great time to be a children’s author and I love seeing people of all ages take interest and find the initiative to get started following their dreams!!  I would love to help you if you are interested.

Parent / Teacher Guide for Bosley Sees the World now Available!

Bosley Sees the World Teacher's Guide Kindle

The Parent / Teacher Guide for Bosley Sees the World is now available!!

This is a great opportunity for teachers to bring Bosley Bear into their classroom and introduce him to students as you immerse them into his world through these creative and inspiring activities.  Bosley songs, craft projects, collaboration, interactive play, and much more! You will definitely find something in this guide that will bring Bosley to life in your classroom.

I was so luck to find Leanne Williams, M.Ed. a specialist in children’s curriculum development to help me with this project.  She has incorporated all sorts of different learning styles into these lessons.

For your FREE copy of this guide book, just click here!

It is also available in Kindle format and will soon be available in print as well :)

Language Learning Teacher’s Guide Coming Soon!

I’m so excited that I get to share Bosley’s stories with children all over the world and I have had lots of people use the books in their classes for both children and adults!  I’m happy to announce that coming in January I will be offering an AWESOME teachers guide for kids that will encourage language learning in a fun, creative way, presenting lesson plans that encompass all types of learning methods.  There will be audible, visual, and hands on lessons that help children learn new words and phrases in a multitude of different ways.

I have hired an expert in curriculum development to help me with the guidebook and I’m really excited about it.  I will be releasing it sometime in January and I will keep you posted on the progress.  It will utilize the story context of the book and really focus on new creative ways to put the vocabulary into practice.

In the meantime, enjoy the wonderful holiday season!

Bosley’s Four-Book Set!

4-book SET

Yes!  You heard right!

I’m now offering a 4-book set of ALL of Bosley’s books:

Bosley Sees the World

Bosley Goes to the Beach

Bosley’s First Words

Bosley Builds a Tree House

You can choose your desired translation upon checkout.

Bosley’s Dual Language 4-Book Set 

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas Giveaway Update!! Still a chance to win!

I’ve been having a lot of fun connecting with all of these bloggers and offering so many giveaways this month.

There has been a great response to the book launch, and there are still LOTS of books to giveaway and PLENTY of chances to win one. All of the blogs below are running giveaways for Bosley, but I’ve gotten to know them all in the process and they also have a lot of great articles on parenting, language learning, child rearing and all sorts of other interesting things, so don’t forget to check out what they have to say.

Here is a quick update to all of the giveaways that are currently running.

Currently Running Giveaways:

http://www.mamafashionfiles.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-book-review.html

http://babymmakesthree.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-book-review.html

http://www.amomentinourworld.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-review.html

http://cookingfromasahm.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-giveaway.html

http://www.ourhavenhill.com/2013/11/07/a-giveaway-in-time-for-Christmas/

http://grayhairedmom.com/

http://fourthstpayphone.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-and-giveaway.html ENDS TODAY!!

http://www.ourwolvesden.net/2013/11/debut-of-new-book-giveaway-in.html

http://www.nuggetonabudget.com/2013/11/dual-language-childrens-book-review.html ENDS TOMORROW!!

http://ingspirations.com/2013/11/13/bilingual-book-bosley-builds-a-treehouse-review-giveaway/

http://metrodetroitmommy.blogspot.com/2013/11/language-bear-bosley-build-tree-house.html

http://servedupwithlove.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-treehouse-dual-language.html

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/73082-bosley-builds-a-tree-house—french-english

Enter to win your copy now and GOOD LUCK!

List of GIVEAWAYS for Bosley Builds a Tree House

Bosley Builds a Tree House, dual language bookIt was hard work getting the book out in time for the official (self-imposed) release date, but I did it!  And I am so happy with how it came out.  I really think this is the best one yet.  The reviews have been outstanding and everyone who has read it is really enjoying it with their kids.

Yesterday the book was published on Amazon and Kindle and is available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and for the first time, Portuguese!

The addition of a Portuguese translation was due to the amount of requests I had for the book in that language.  If there are other languages that you would like to see these books in, please TELL ME!  If there is interest, you can bet I will publish in any language!  Now I just have to start learning all of these languages!

Giveaways!

Yes, as promised there will be TONS of giveaways for the paperback version of this book (winner’s choice of language in all cases).  Below are links to the review / giveaways that have begun so far.  There will be more throughout the month and the best way to hear about them is through Bosley’s facebook page.

Baby M Makes Three Blog

Katy Stuff Blog

Cooking from a Stay at Home Mom

Our Havenhill

Two Cats and a Cradle

Grey Haired Mom Blog

4th Street Payphone Blog

Fashionista Momma Blog

Sweet Caroline’s Corner

The Audacity of Motherhood

 

All of the giveaways are ending at different times, and some have more contestants than others, so if you miss one, try the next one.

Feel free to enter all of them!

Good luck!

45+ Giveaways of Bosley Builds a Tree House

Giveaway

The official release date for Bosley Goes to the Beach is Thursday, November 7th!  That is just one week away and I’ve got some really special treats lined up for the release.

I have partnered with over 45 blogs to help me with this launch and provide their honest feedback of the book as well as provide one book to a lucky winner, through a giveaway on their blog.  If you play your cards right you can enter every single one of those giveaways and your chances will be pretty good!!  Winners of all the giveaways will receive their book before Christmas in case you want to gift it to someone special.  There will never be any cost to enter the giveaway, you can enter by doing things like, leaving a comment on their post, or liking a facebook page, etc.  Each giveaway will have their own different forms of entry, but they will all be super simple, I promise.

Don’t miss a giveaway!

Like Bosley on Facebook,

Follow on Twitter

or Google+

Books have already started to be listed on Amazon.com so feel free to check them out and add them to your “wish list” for this season.  What kids do you have in your life who could benefit from a dual language book? :)

Share Your Bosley Experience on Amazon!

kid thumbs upHave you enjoyed one of Bosley’s books with your family?  Bosley wants to hear how you enjoyed his story!  Please take a couple minutes and go to Amazon, search for your favorite Bosley book and leave a short, honest review of your thoughts on the book.  This is a good way for you to help ensure that more Bosley books are published in the future!

Book reviews on Amazon are one of the best ways to help Bosley reach more children.  We now have a total of over 70 great Amazon reviews, and counting, for Bosley’s books and they have been extremely helpful.

Thanks to your support, Bosley is getting more popular everyday and helping children learn languages all over the world.  This Christmas, there will be four books available and they will also be available as a set, only at the website.  Whether you want the box set or one of the other books, we’re hoping you leave room on your Christmas list for a Bosley book or two!

Thank you for your continued support!

Bosley’s Treehouse Illustrations Almost Finished!

Ozzy Esha's plan for one of the final illustrations for Bosley Builds a Treehouse!

Ozzy Esha’s plan for one of the final illustrations for Bosley Builds a Treehouse!

The illustrations are just about finished for Bosley Builds a Treehouse and they are looking amazing!  The translations are finished and the book layout has begun.  It’s a tight time table, but I am bound and determined to get this book out to you all before the Christmas season!

Also, I haven’t announced this yet, but be on the lookout for a box set for gifting :)

To the right you will see a sneak peek at one of the final illustrations for the book.  This page depicts Bosley and all his friends admiring their teamwork effort on the treehouse and getting ready to enjoy the fruits of their labors!

From here, Ozzy will take this illustration framework and sprinkle a little of his unique magic dust on it, adding color, detail and lighting to make it a masterpiece.  I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished, and I can’t wait to show you!

If you don’t already know, I have created a Pinterest board for all things related to behind-the-scenes work and sneak peeks for Bosley fans!  Check it out and enjoy lots of other sneak peeks at Bosley’s history.

Give Bosley a pat on the back by re-pinning some of the images to your own boards :)

Toddler Brain Scan Suggests Early Life is Best Time to Learn Language

Regions of the brain that show leftward asymmetry of myelin (credit: Baby Imaging Lab/Brown University)

Regions of the brain that show leftward asymmetry of myelin (credit: Baby Imaging Lab/Brown University)

Researchers at the King’s College London has just published an article summarizing a recent brain scan done on normally developing children ages 1 to 6 to identify the distribution of myelin in developing brains.  Myelin is a substance that allows communication between neurons to occur very efficiently and is developed as neuronal activity increases during development.

What they found is that the level of myelin had a direct correlation to language learning and that it changed with age.

The study reveals a particular window, from 2 years to the age of 4, during which environmental influence on language development may be greatest.

The findings help explain why, in a bilingual environment, very young  typically developing children are better capable of becoming fluent in both languages; and why interventions for neurodevelopmental disorders where language is impaired, such as autism, may be much more successful if implemented at a very young age.

The type of correlation that the research suggests is that, even if at age 4 our myelin stabilizes, it is still primarily environmental influences and not anatomy that allow optimal language learning.

To read more about the study and the research done, visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/iop/news/records/2013/October/Toddlers-brain-wiring-develops-to-accommodate-new-words.aspx

Early Language Exposure for the Twins

Bosley's First Words and Twins

We’ve been having a great time since the twins were born in February, playing and watching them grow and I would love to share with you some of the bilingual activities that we’re undertaking as we go.

It’s said that the younger we are the better we are at learning languages.  We have to be, really.  We’re tossed into a foreign land when we are born and expected to learn not only how to move our mouths, but to make coherent noises come out of them that the people around us will understand.  These sounds would need to be completely different simply based on the geographic location where we pop out.  There is no DNA coding for speech patterns, accent, or vocabulary, the only way we can all initially communicate is through crying.  (And we’ve been having plenty of that with the twins, trust me.  In stereo!)

Over those first few months, babies are already building their paradigms; they are becoming familiar with the sound patterns that they will hear for the vast majority of their lives.  I’ve been doing as much as I can to expose them to other unfamiliar sounds that are outside of what they hear most of the day.  Just a bit of exposure to help their brains recognize and become familiar with many of the sounds that exist in Japanese but not in English.  I’ve been showing them words in the books we read; most of which are English books but some are Japanese, some French, some Italian.  Undoubtedly, the Japanese characters will look the most different to them, but at this point it’s all about exposure and new experiences.

We haven’t really exposed the boys to any television yet.  I’m sure this would be a good topic for discussion, because there is certainly plenty of exposure to be had by watching some Japanese cartoons on YouTube that would be both engaging visually and full of new sounds and great exposure, but we’ve decided, at least for now to keep the exposure to the physical realm.  When the boys do see a TV or computer screen somewhere they are instantly mesmerized and seemingly get lost in some subconscious nether-world.

I do enjoy playing music for them, they love the guitar and they love songs, and I try to expose them to different music genres the same way that I do different languages.  I have also been using TuneIn Radio on my smartphone to pick up radio stations in Japan so that they have the opportunity to listen to fluent native speakers (the DJs) and Japanese lyrics in the songs.  I’ll be continuing to expose them to as much as possible and will keep you posted on anything that I learn that might be of interest.

My Journey into Bilingual Parenting

Tim and the boysI started the series of Bosley books before we had children.  Knowing that we would be starting a family in the coming years I wanted to be ready and I used that dream of a family as inspiration to write the first book.  I have always been an advocate for language learning and have always tried to do my diligence to speak the native language when visiting another country.   (Even worked on my Scottish accent when my wife and I went there, but probably just sounded like a buffoon!)

I knew that second language learning would be very important to me as we took our first steps into parenthood.  I loved learning French from my mother as a child, it always made me feel proud that I knew something the other kids didn’t, like secret code words.  And martial arts has always fostered my interest in Asian culture and language, so when the opportunity arose to take a trip to Japan during high school I did everything I could to make that happen (with a little help from my parents).  I made some life-long friends that I still communicate with there today and have worked very hard to keep up a good working knowledge of Japanese.  I’m not fluent by any means, but I can “get by”.  Japanese resonates with the workings of my own engineering brain in that it is very structured, and rule based.  There is virtually no ambiguity in the language as compared to others (including English) that have silent letters, and rules seemingly made up on the fly.  So I like the language and am excited to have my children learn it with me.  (Selfishly, I really just want more people to practice Japanese with!)

I’ve been publishing articles on this website for years that have to do with early childhood development, second language learning for children, and tips for bilingual parenting, etc.  But with the new website upgrade, and the new additions to my family, I think it is time to get a bit more personal and start dispelling some of my own experiences as I raise these two wonderful children.  I will be teaching them as much as possible, but undoubtedly learning just as much from them as they learn from me.

I hope you will join me on this journey and I hope you can enjoy the articles and get something out of them.  I would love to have some discussions spark up in the comment section, so please leave your thoughts, comments and suggestions below this article.  I would love to hear about the linguistic goals you have for your family.

My Inspiration For Writing “Bosley Goes to the Beach”

Coast of Maine

After publishing “Bosley Sees the World”, I got so much good feedback on it that I knew I had to publish another book.  People wanted more of Bosley!

My wife and I were in the process of building a new house in Maine, when all of a sudden we got a phone call saying that the builder had put the foundation in the wrong place!!  This would set us back about 4 months which meant we needed to find a temporary place to live. As luck would have it, we stumbled upon an amazing opportunity to live in a gorgeous rental house right on the ocean on the coast of Maine.  This was ideal for us, not only because it was a beautiful place to spend the winter, but also because my wife and I had discovered we were pregnant with twins and she would eventually have to spend the last few months of her pregnancy on bed-rest, and trust me, this was a great place to spend your day laying on the couch looking out the window.  We would watch the lobster men come and go, watch hundreds of birds play and catch fish, and of course, relax and take inspiration watching the tides roll in and out.

This was the place where “Bosley goes to the Beach” came to be.  The ocean has always been a special place for my wife and I, and I was so excited to see the story and illustrations come together like they did.  Of course, it was also a great inspiration and motivation to know that when the book was finished my wife and I would no longer be a family of two, but a family of four and that we would have two new incredible people to share the book with.  It’s funny to think that I didn’t even know what our children would look like when I was writing the book and now I’ve been able to read it to them.  And even though they’re just babies, they will often sit quietly and listen to the whole story while they gaze with their inquisitive baby eyes into the colorful pictures, all the while continually inspiring me to write more Bosley stories.