Books and Music
Stories and music should be the backbone of any home. They are especially helpful in bilingual households. As much as technology and online resources help in learning Spanish, there is nothing like cuddling up with your little one and reading a book or singing together. Here I’ve compiled a growing list of our favorites. I look for several things when searching for good, living books: rich language, beauty in both the illustrations and the text, and then truth and goodness in the story. It might sound like a high bar for children’s resources, but we want to give them good things to love– whether in Spanish or English.
Personally, as a non-native Spanish speaker, I need this sort of rich, authentic language. I can’t always provide that language myself, but it can become part of me as it becomes part of my children. Stories, nursery rhymes, poetry, and songs are my favorite way to learn as a family! Be sure to read my posts about this: Why Your Bilingual Child Needs Poetry, and How Books are a Lifesaver for this Non-Native Mama. Don’t worry too much about analyzing and teaching: let the books speak for themselves. Read them again and again, and remember that poetry, songs, and stories are meant to be loved first and foremost.
And what is a living book?
“And what is a living book? Simply put, a living book is one that conveys living ideas. It should be of the highest literary quality and it should present its subject in a way that engages both the mind and the heart of the reader… The books chosen should always have real literary value, because we are not reading for the mere acquisition of information but for the sake of relationships with knowledge, with words, with heroes, and with ideas.”
— Consider This, by Karen Glass