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Teaching Language Through Bilingual Books for Children

Books recommended by Jo Li
Books recommended by Jo Li

It's been wonderful to hear about so many children’s books this last year from Tracy Kampa our children's book contributor, but today we're going to branch off from children’s books to hear about bilingual children’s books. Research shows that there are many benefits to children learning a second language, but people like Jo Li of Bemidji also see it as a necessity for bi-racial families. And one of the best language learning tools are books. Jo shares her experience teaching her children English and Mandarin through bilingual children’s books.

Jo Li's List of Recommended Books:

  • Summertime Rainbow and A Nest in Springtime by Yang (both are good for 1-3 year-old learning colors and numbers)
  • My First Mandarin Words with Gordon and Li Li, by Michele Wong McSween (ages 1-3)
  • First Thousand Words in Chinese, 2014 Usborne Books (for more advanced kids and adult language learners)
  • The Little Monkey King's Journey (age 3-8, a classic tale retold in both languages, adapted for children with repetitive verses. Best of all, the illustrator used traditional Chinese painting techniques.) 
  • Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes (age 1-4, this book comes with a CD, and my daughter loves to sing and dance along)

Tammy works at Bemidji State University's library, and she hosts "What We're Reading," a show about books and authors.