Nina reviews bilingual board books
Babies have an amazing gift – they can master a language quickly. At six months, the child can learn the sounds that make up English words - and if exposed to other languages, are able to pick up on their acoustic properties too at a very young age.
Reading with babies assists the development of speech, logical thinking, concentration and discipline. That’s why it is such a great time to introduce them to the bilingual board book series from Hachette NZ and illustrated by Donovan Bixley, with two books for tamariki with first words in both English and Te Reo.
Lucky My First Board Book: Colours and My First Board Book: Animals have such sturdy pages, as Nina is going through a phase of scrunching paper in her little fists but simultaneously insisting that she turns pages herself. I imagine that this durability would also make the books great for a group environment such as kindergarten.
As a family we liked Colours best, as Nina’s parental units knew the song and correct Maori pronunciation, adding another dimension to the reading experience. There were even additional colours not included in the tune, like multi-coloured, which was a nice touch. Speaking of multi-coloured, the illustrations were bold with thick contrasting lines, Nina was very drawn to them.
Animals sparked debate surrounding proper articulation of the Maori names of horse (hoiho) and more, teaching the parents as much as Nina – and much fun was had making barnyard noises. There are plans to grow the series next year, with shapes and machines – which should grow Nina and her parents Maori vocabulary, whose only other Te Reo extends to the first verse of the National Anthem.
Nina rates: 5 out of 5 stars
My First Board Book: Colours and My First Board Book: Animals $16.99 each and available nationwide