Book reviews - Languages

On this page we have brought together a selection of language books. These books are an excellent way to familiarise young children with other languages and have fun at the same time.

Hello French: Colour in French from b small Books

b small are passionate about keeping foreign language learning alive for children. This excellent series (also available in Spanish) epitomises that ethos, bring usa series of books that make French fun and lively. This colouring book revisits the busy, vibrant scenes found in Hello French - A Beginner's Guide to French; children are always keen to spot the familiar! The colouring pages that encourage French language learners to focus on vocabulary, with text labels in English and French that include pronunciation guides. The pictures include many familiar scenes for children - playing, swimming and the supermarket, ensuring children relate the scenes and words to the familiar. A fun way to assimilate the language, the book offers plenty of additional opportunities to introduce other vocabulary.

Hello French! A Beginner's Guide to French by Sam Hutchinson

This set of books from b small uses a natural and engaging introduction to language which is far more approrpriate for younger children than formal textbooks which can seem very dull. Children will learn a foreign language at school, so this is the perfect headstart as children learn French. Each expertly designed section encourages enthusiasm, builds confidence and gives young learners the basic French skills they will need as they grow. Learning through clear, fun and familiar examples will spark a lifelong passion for French! Each page takes a common scenario, with which children will be familiar, and intorduces the vocabulary pictorially. So, you will find pages on the swimming pool, home, school, farm and many more. At the back of the book there is a very useful complete word list and a grammar summary. The bright illustrations make the book very appealing and this is an excellent way to introduce French in an informal way that will be very effective and enjoyable.

Hello French: English-French Picture Dictionary by b small publishing

This first French dictionary is a pictorial introduction to over 350 French words, carefully selected to be relevant to children. Arranged again by popular themes, In popular themes, all of the vocabulary from Hello French - A Beginner's Guide to French plus appear in this reference book for French learners. It's a visual dictionary, with images for all the words; pronunciation guides are included too. The words are also arranged alphabetically in English/French and French/English at the end of the book for easy reference. The grouping of words makes the dictionary a good starting point for writing about particular topics. This is an attractively illustrated dictionary that will encourage children's interest in French.

Hello French: A French practice workbook by b small publishing

The final book I've reviewed in this cohesive series gives children the chance to try out and show off their newly acquired skills. THis attractively presented workbook revises the grammar and vocabulary from Hello French - A Beginner's Guide to French, with simple activities that build confidence and encourage enthusiasm for language learning. Clear, fun and familiar examples ensure that children see the relevance of language learning, and will give them a good foundation. The whole series is excellently .pesented, well thought through and working very well as a set

My Very First 100 Words: In English, French, and Spanish by Cico Kidz

I like the fact this book includes three languages rather than the usual two, as it gives a good opportunity for children to see the similarities as well as differences. The everyday words will be familiar to children and every word is shown in English on the board pages, illustrated with a colourful, eye-catching photograph of a crafted object. On the separate double-sided flash cards, the word is translated into French and Spanish. Categories include At the Farm, At the Zoo, At Home, My Special Things, Under the Sea, Eat, Clothes and Transport - these are labelled in the three languages. We know that the best time to learn a language is very early in life, so this colourful board book which includes 100 flash cards is perfect.

A to Z: An Animal Alphabet in Five Languages by Patricia Borlenghi

This is a lovely way for animal lovers to learn a range of languages. Each animal is listed in five languages - English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. Cleverly, the names of the animals all start with the same letter in each language, and the article is given too. The five different languages always appear in the same order on the page and each language has its own design style to make for easy identification. The gorgeous illustrations, which help us learn about each animal and its habital, are by Piers Harper. There's even a bee to spot on rach page!

Olympics 2016 - French Topic Book: Games, Activities and Resources to Teach French by Priscilla Hannaford

Build on children's interest in the Olympic Games, and show them how useful learning languages can be with this interesting book from Brilliant Publications. The book includes background information on France at the Olympics/Paralympics; photocopiable flashcards, word searches, crossword puzzles and other word games and activities linked to the 28 Olympic sports. There are activities to promote speaking, listening, reading and writing, including reading passages about sports, the Olympics and Brazil, surveys and much more; these will all interest children and stimulate them to learn. Taking a wider perspective, the book also has ideas for incorporating French into PE lessons as well as suggestions for reinforcing vocabulary and sentence structures for a range of other topics, from colours and weather to numbers and travel. There's plenty here to stimulate teaching with ideas that will be useful even when the Olympics are over.

Chineasy(TM) Everyday: The World of Chinese Characters by ShaoLan

This book could change the face of Chinese teaching for ever, with its totally new approach. ShaoLan Hsueh is a Taiwanese entrepreneur based in London, who couldn't find an effective way of teaching her children Chinese. So she developed a visual method to make reading characters fun and easy. By learning the most commonly occurring characters, ­the building blocks of the entire language, ­ learners of all ages can swiftly grasp basic concepts and words. It's not just for children - adults will benefit just as much from the approach. Chineasy Everyday teaches over 400 of the most used and useful Chinese characters, phrases and sentences. Going well beyond learning the language, it is organised into eleven themes (indented tabs in the book help find your way around) that reflect our daily lives, it brings the stories and myths behind the characters to life, providing a unique perspective into Chinese history and culture. The book is very clearly presented, with useful introductory material. The visual approach will capture attention, and the layout and use of colour is appealing.

First Thousand Words in Chinese by Heather Amery

This is a classic Usborne word book with the iconic little yellow duck waiting to be spotted on every page. The cheerful illustrations and busy scenes by Stephen Cartwright accompany a thousand everyday words to help children learn key Chinese vocabulary. There are a range of scenes and settings, giving the opportunity for children to learn common words used around the home, in the shops, in the playground, in the garden, in the town and many more. The word list at the end of the book gives all the words in alphabetical order of their pinyin pronunciation, as well as giving the English translation. Children can hear how to pronounce all the words by using the Usborne Quicklinks website which has a native speaker saying the words.

Un Or Une? Is This French Word Masculine or Feminine?: How to Remember the Gender of French Nouns by Maria Rice-Jones

Do you struggle to remember whether particular French words are masculine or feminine? This handy guide will help everyone, young and old, with this tricky topic. It's common to think that the gender of each noun has to be memorised, as there are no rules to learn and follow. Most French words follow a simple pattern: when a noun ends in 'e' it is feminine (eg; une porte / a door) and when it doesn't it is masculine (eg; un stylo / a pen). As ever, there are exceptions and it's the exceptions that are the problem. This guide provides clever memory tricks to help you remember them. The guide is laminated so it will stand on your desk or fit into your bag and you can refer to it wherever you go. Simple and straightforward, this will be a great asset to anyone learning the language.

My First Book of Polish Words (A+ Books: Bilingual Picture Dictionaries) by Katy R. Kudela

This brightly coloured bilingual dictionary features everyday objects in familiar settings including the kitchen, garden, food and toys. Each topic has a two page spread with bright photos clearly labelled with English, Polish and Polish pronunciation. There is a brief but useful guide to Polish at the beginning. The book is an excellent start to learning Polish or for children who have Polish friends so they can share the language.

How Do You Say That in French?: 1000 Words and Phrases for Kids by Sally Delaney

Every situation that children are likely to experience and need French for is included in this colourful and enjoyable book. Everyday necessities from school to the supermarket and fun times including a sleepover and the skatepark are included. It includes an English-French dictionary of the key words covered plus further core French terms, making the book a useful classroom resource. It's a friendly approach to language learning, with engaging illustrations and plenty of touches of humour to capture children's attention. Whether using the book to support school learning, to communicate with pen-pals or as a phrase book in preparation for a trip to France, there is plenty here for all needs. Ruth Galloway's colourful illustrations are clearly labelled with the words in English and French and in addition, each spread features a range of useful sentences relevant to the topic. Suitable for KS2 children, this is a super way to get to grips with a new language and to make it meaningful.

Un bonbon rouge (French Storybook): Learn French with Luc et Sophie, Part 1, Unit 7 Storybook by Barbara Scanes

Luc and his friends would like to have some of the girls' sweets, so Sophie suggests playing a game. Learn French with Luc et Sophie is a story-based scheme for teaching French in primary schools. Designed to instil confidence through familiarity and a sense of achievement, each story uses repetitive phrases and simple sentences to embed vocabulary and language structures. The stories are fun to read and illustrated with lively full colour pictures to add to understanding and enjoyment. To enhance learning, there is a vocabulary list at the end of each book, along with a picture to colour and discuss. Among the other books available (28 in total) are J'ai un chat (French Storybook): Learn French with Luc et Sophie, Part 1, Unit 8 Storybook and Combien de biscuits? (French Storybook): Learn French with Luc et Sophie, Part 1 Unit 3 Storybook

My French Sticker Atlas: Discover the languages of the world by Catherine Bruzzone

This colourful sticker book serves a dual purpose - it introduces children to the French language and it also brings in key geography skills. Children gain an overview of the continents, see how they relate to each other, and learn about their culture and physical geography. The place names are all in French; the text, which contains plenty of useful and interesting facts, is in English. Each continent has a two page spread, with stickers to locate, lists of the languages, physical features illustrated and common greetings in French. There are questions for children to answer too. A really well thought out book which offers many hours of learning fun.

Big Book of French Words from Usborne

Children will study a language at primary school, so give them a head start with this colourful book; we all know that the younger you are, the easier it is to learn a language. Around a thousand everyday words are arranged by theme, all with child-friendly illustrations. As well as the words, there are lots of things to spot and talk about in this large format board book. Take time to share it with your child and you will have lots of fun together - many adults will benefit from learning extra vocabulary too! The book includes a giant fold-out poster which shows all the words together - pin this up at home to reinforce the learning. Pronunciation is all-important so it's excellent to see the book includes a link to Usborne Quicklinks where all the words can be heard. It's perfect for use with even the youngest child, with its friendly format.

Mamie and Papi's Basic French Grammar - Nouns and Adjectives (Mamie & Papi) by Jean Beaver

This is one in a friendly enjoyable series which is ideal for KS3. It explains the logic of each part of speech so that students understand why the language is used as it is, giving them the understanding to work things out for themselves. Learning is developed through practice exercises, creating new examples and moving on to writing sentences.This gives the student plenty of opportunity for practice and reinforcement, leading to increased confidence. The exercises are relevant to today's students and the whole book gives an excellent grounding The book includes reproducible worksheets and an answer key. Topics include masculine and feminine, plurals, irregular masculine plurals of adjectives, feminine adjectives, irregular feminine adjectives and positioning adjectives. Look out for the others in the series including Questions .

Spanish (Help With Homework Essentials) by Nina Filipek

We are often asked for books on Spanish so I know this title will be welcomed by many of our users. Written for users of 9+, this practical and excellent value book covers the basics in a reassuring and chatty manner. Kitcat and Dig are here to guide the reader through the book which covers many of the basics, such as telling the time, dates, simple conversation and common situations. There are plenty of fun activities for children and this book works equally well to reinforce classroom learning or to gain familiarity with the language before visiting Spanish-speaking countries. There are 50 stickers too.

French (Help With Homework Essentials) by Nina Filipek

This is an excellent way to build children's confidence with French and the amusing cartoons and stickers will ensure they have plenty of fun at the same time. The book fits with the French studied in school and will also be great to use when holidaying in France. The activities, which include word searches, crosswords and colouring, are a good way to reinforce learning and to give it a practical application. The layout is clear and each two page spread is just right for a learning session at home or in school. Sightseeing, the restaurant and the supermarket are some of the useful areas included - ideal for trips abroad.

The Book of Languages by Mick Webb

This is an unusual book, with its coverage of languages around the world - 21 languages are included (out of the nearly 7,000 spoken around the world!). We learn where languages originate and where they are spoken (shown on a map). The book is packed with a variety of information and each language has basic vocabulary (including greetings and numbers), pronunciation hints and short dialogues to practise; there are also web links so the reader is able to listen to the language.Interestingly, there are pages on non-verbal languages, semaphore, morse code and animal languages - truly a comprehensive book.

Oxford Children's Spanish-English Visual Dictionary

We are often asked for resources to help the learning of Spanish, so this dictionary will be warmly welcomed. It is not an A to Z dictionary but arranged by theme, and includes thousands of words from a variety of topics. There is an A - Z index in both Spanish and English at the end. The topics include People and Homes, Food and Clothing, School and Work, Sport and Leisure, Art, Music, and Entertainment, Transport, Animals and Plants, Planet Earth and the Environment, and Space. Each topic includes a short introductory text given in both Spanish and English plus over 20 bright, modern illustrations labelled in both Spanish and English. The high use of illustrations makes the book visually appealing and encourages and reinforces learning.

Telling Tales in Latin: A New Latin Course and Storybook for Children by Lorna Robinson

Latin is a fascinating language as as so much of our own language owes its origin to Latin, it can help enormously with spelling and usage. Ovid was a great narrator and this book uses Ovid's Metamorphoses to give children an introduction to Latin words and grammar. Each chapter tells a story and draws the reader straight into Latin with stories, exercises and suggestions, cleverly set out to give the reader confidence that he can read and understand Latin. The colourful illustrations add greatly to the enjoyment of the book. It's a very interesting approach which shows that Latin is still relevant and enjoyable today.

Bear's First Spanish Words (Bear's First Words) by Catherine Bruzzone

The ever playful and adorable b small bear brings your first Spanish words to life in this gorgeous book. Attractive spreads divided into key themes will give you and your little linguists lots to look at and discuss as you practise those first few essential words. Topics include Food, Animals, Transport, Family, Weather, Numbers.

Bear's First French Words (Bear's First Words) Catherine Bruzzone

b small have a passion for languages and for introducing children to languages from a very young age, and that passion is clearly shown through their bright colourful early language books.

At Home/A La Maison (English/French My First Bilingual Book) by Catherine Bruzzone 

We all know how much easier it is for children to learn languages when they are young, so this series for children of 2+ is an excellent starting point. The amount of information is easily manageable and the friendly bear characters appeal to children. Here, the child is introduced to a range of everyday objects, with the English word on one page and the French opposite (complete with pronunciation guide). The pictures are fun, with lots of differences to spot between the two,

 (English/French My First Bilingual Book) by Catherine Bruzzone 

Another bright colourful book, packed with Clare Beaton's appealing illustrations. A nice touch in this book is given by the animal footprints which march across the pages - it's fun to talk about these with your child and match them to the animal. Children are introduced to farm and domestic animals with English and French words for each. The friendly bears are shown looking after the animals, making the book fun to look at together.

Family/La Famille (English/French My First Bilingual Book) by Catherine Bruzzone 

Children can learn all the names for their family members in this colourful early language book. They are introduced to the bear family through a series of colourful and appealing illustrations as they share in the fun of the family. These books are a lovely way to encourage children to enjoy learning French from an early age.

Amelia and Amélie Go To Le Zoo by Genevieve Yusuf

These books have a really interesting and unusual approach to learning a language. Most of the text is in English - including the introduction when Amelia is preparing for her holiday. Then, once she arrives in France, key words are in French, with lots of clues in both text and pictures, to ensure children understand. It's a super way to introduce language. Children will enjoy the story too as Amelia and Amélie enjoy a day out at the zoo. The word list at the end shows the pronunciation and reinforces learning. The book is well produced on glossy paper. Perhaps it will encourage your child to write a story in two languages - I do hope so! See more at

My Spanish Sticker Dictionary by Catherine Bruzzone and Louise Millar

These are the perfect books to build anticipation for a holiday abroad, or to take on the journey. Each covers popular topics such as the zoo, the street, the forest, the classroom, the supermarket, fruit and vegetables in a two page spread. Colourful pictures are full of fun - look at the havoc the dog and cat cause in the supermarket! Extend the value of the books by talking about the pictures, matching the words to the big picture and using a dictionary to find even more words - perhaps writing them into the book to make your own dictionary/phrase book to use. There are two colourful sticker sheets, each with a picture depicting the word, the word in French and its phonetic pronunciation.

My French Sticker Dictionary by Catherine Bruzzone and Louise Millar

Another colourful aid to early language learning, with all the same features as the Spanish Sticker Dictionary (above). The vocabulary pages at the end can be used to reinforce learning - try looking for the words in the pictures. You can give your child early confidence in languages by using these books, which will ensure that they see language learning as fun and enjoyable. It's a great way to start!

My First 100 French Words by Clare Beaton

bsmall have a wonderful way of making languages fun and this book is no exception. It introduces essential words in French, with just two words to the page. The book features groups of words on varied topics -  numbers, colours, clothes, toys, food, parties, indoors, playground, animals, transport and weather - all clearly marked by colour. I love the page on numbers, with its charming pictures!  Ideal to take on your holiday to France - the slim format makes it perfect for pocket or bag!

My First 100 Spanish Words by Clare Beaton

Another easy to use book from bsmall - again, the small format makes it easy to carry around. Ideal both for holidays and for supporting early language learning in schools - Spanish is a popular language for teaching. The pictures are fun and colourful and there is a complete word list at the end.  Both the French and Spanish versions include a pronunciation guide and an alphabet game is included on the cover flaps.  

Uno Dos Tres - My First Spanish Rhymes by Yanitzia Canetti

Just as we introduce our children to their own language through songs and nursery rhymes when they are little, so we should introduce them to songs and rhymes in other languages, as they are an excellent way to familiarise young children with another language. This is a collection of 25 traditional nursery rhymes in Spanish - and in case you are wondering how to pronounce them, there is a CD included. An illustrated vocabulary features simple words and phrases that are easy to learn and that can be used in games or everyday life. There is also information about each rhyme. Bright colourful illustrations give plenty of opportunities for discussion and this would be a valuable book for the language teacher. A lovely and somewhat unusual book.  

French Fun by Catherine Bruzzone and Lone Morton

Another excellent early language book from bsmall, who really do convey through their book their passion for introducing young children to languages Children will absorb the vocabulary without knowing they are doing so as they enjoy the colourful activities which abound in this book. Lots of puzzles and games and on each page there are key words and phrases in French - complete with pronunciation guide. These are cleverly integrated with the pictures and puzzles. And if that's not enough - there are two figures to press out and dress and a French fortune teller. An exceptional language resource.

Lucy and Lucia Play Hide and Seek by Genevieve Yusuf

In an interesting approach to early language learning, Spanish words are incorporated in a story which is largely told in English. Lucy and Lucia have fun playing hide-and-seek during Lucy's holiday in Spain and they can both help each other out. An entertaining story with the Spanish words cleverly interwoven throughout, so children will assimilate new words easily. All the Spanish words used are listed at the end.


Phillip and Felipe Become Best Amigos by Genevieve Yusuf

Another story about a holiday in Spain. Phillip helps Felipe find his Mum in the supermarket and lots of useful Spanish vocabulary weaves through the story. From the website: "JaJaJa books would like to take you and your child on a learning experience within a story….Not only will your child learn but you can learn with them. A child’s brain is like a little sponge soaking up information. Our books try to expose children at a young age to a new language, without them even realising they are learning. The stories are written predominantly in English with foreign language vocabulary popped in at the right place....the situations and storylines are relevant so when you and your family go on holiday, to a restaurant or to the beach, you will have some language skills already under your belt."

Wild Animals/Les Animaux Sauvages by Catherine Bruzzone illus Clare Beaton

This is a lovely picture book to help children learn animal names. Each animal is illustrated with two fun pictures, which are bound to amuse children. The French and English words are in clear font with French pronunciation. We all know that the earlier children start to learn a language, the easier it is, so this series 'My First Bilingual Books' for children of 2+ from b small is a great start. More -  Weather/Le Temps (Bilingual First Books), At Home/A La Maison (Bilingual First Books), Food/La Nourriture (Bilingual First Books) and Weather/Le Temps (Bilingual First Books).

First French with Superchat by Catherine Bruzzone, illus Clare Beaton

This is a super book, full of different ways to encourage language learning - as the book so accurately says, it is a "treasure chest". There are brightly coloured flash cards, labels to use around the house, a brightly coloured poster, figures to label and a colourful game. All this, plus an audio CD and many pages of suggested activities and games. A great resource for home and classroom, with so many different ways to reinforce learning - and reward badges for the successful learner. First English with Supercat (First Languages with Supercat) and  First Spanish with Supergato (Book & CD) are in the same series.

Hide and Speak Chinese by Catherine Bruzzone and Susan Martineau

This is far more than just a picture word book. It's great to see Chinese included in this series - complete with the absolutely essential pronunciation! The book is split into 15 popular themes, including party time, at the beach and in the jungle, all illustrated in bright colour. What sets this series apart is the use of wipe clean flaps, which can be used to cover words or pictures to practise speaking or writing as much as liked. A fun way to tackle a new language. 

Home Life Chez Moi by Sue Finnie and Daniele Bourdais

This would be an excellent book to give a young person about to set off on a French Exchange. Ryan, a young reporter, sets out to find out about family life in France through meeting three young people. Fact boxes are liberally sprinkled with French words, making this an enticing way to learn some of the language. Packed with information about everyday life and full of photos, this is a great snapshot of French life. Questions and quizzes add to the fun and all the phrases used in French are translated. Colourful and practical - a really well thought out series. The rest of the Young Reporter in France series are School Days (Young Reporter in France), Having Fun (Young Reporter in France) and Special Days and Holidays (Young Reporter in France).

Polish - Languages of the World by Lucia Raatna

This series, from Raintree, covers a range of major world languages. The books in the series, however, are far more than just language books - they provide an introduction to the culture of the country for KS1 children. A brief introduction to the language is given; there is a guide to pronunciation; introducing yourself and then words associated with everyday life - home, school, shopping, work etc. These are complemented by useful nuggets of information. Clearly laid out, accessible fonts and fact boxes and plenty of photographs, these books are an ideal introduction.

French - Languages of the World by Anita Ganeri 

Spanish (Languages of the World)
Hindi (Languages of the World)
Urdu (Languages of the World)
Mandarin (Languages of the World
Italian (Languages of the World)

Where's Toto?/Ou Est Toto? by Elizabeth Laird

From the series Let's Read in Spanish and English, find out what happens when Susie insists on taking the puppy Toto to the circus. It's a fun story with plenty of illustrations and speech bubbles to help understanding. The story is told in Spanish and English on opposing pages so, whichever language you are learning, you can look at your own language for help.  It is a really fun and enjoyable way to learn a language, as the child can concentrate on and enjoy the story with the help of the parallel language and the speech bubbles. There is a quiz at the end to reinforce comprehension and understanding.

A New World/Un Nouveau Monde by Stephen Rabley

A bi-lingual book - French and English, with the story told with the two languages side by side. Join with Marcus as he travels to the new world with Viking adventurers. Marcus stows away and is allowed to stay when he saves the Captain's life. The story is really well told and has a surprise at the end.  The illustrations are colourful and full of detail and there is an excellent balance of picture to text, meaning that children will not find reading daunting. A fun quiz completes the book - all-in-all, a great way to enjoy learning a new language.

Hide and Speak Italian by Catherine Bruzzone and Susan Martineau

We are so often asked for Modern Foreign Language resources, that I was thrilled to receive another set of books from b small publishing for review. This is a fun, interactive title to introduce children to Italian from a young age. The book covers 15 themes and I like the variety and the slightly unusual selection, which makes a refreshing change from the norm - alongside as the common themes such as Family, your child will enjoy The Dressing Up Box and Shopping for Toys. Each theme is illustrated in full colour, with amusing illustrations and a series of sentences. On the opposite page is a word list, to be used with the wipe-clean flaps to practise the words. An easy guide to pronunciation is also included. A really fun way to start a new language.

French-English Word Puzzle Book by Catherine Bruzzone, Rachel Croxon and Louise Millar

What a super way to reinforce early learning of a language! Children love doing puzzles and this is great fun. 14 themes are covered, ranging from the bedroom to the forest. With French on one side, and English opposite, each pair of pages is cleverly designed to offer the same format but with different puzzles for each language. There are crosswords, word searches, fill the blanks, codes to crack and much more - a great variety. Answers are given and there is a full word list. Full colour, with fun illustrations which give clues to the answers, this is an attractive book which children will enjoy. 

50 Spanish Phrases by Catherine Bruzzone and Susan Martineau

Another bright colourful aid to language learning from b small - it's far more than just a phrase book. This would be a great one to take on holiday with you, or to have in the house if your child is doing an exchange visit. Full of fun activities in which several children can take part, this would also be a great classroom resource to get children involved in learning and to encourage them to 'have a go'. The 50 key phrases are spread though the book and are clearly numbered; there are also lots of other words and all complete with pronunciation. Attractively presented, this is a really well thought out book with so much to keep children interested and find learning a language is fun. 
And remember - most of the b small language books come in a range of languages, so do look at their website to see the full range.

Cendrillon: Children's Classics in French by Clare Beaton

This is far more than just the story of Cinderella in French. The story is just one part, retold as a simplified story in French. Children's knowledge of the story will instantly help with their understanding of the French, guided by the notes at the front which usefully tell teachers how to prepare to use the story. Brightly coloured cards make the stage and three backdrops, in order to put on the mini-play (text given), using the cut out characters which children can colour. The book can be photocopied, making it a super classroom resource. Hours of fun for children at home or school, who will love to put on a performance - even down to templates supplied for tickets. Cinderella and Snow White are available in English, Spanish and French.

Illustrated Alphabet in French by Louise Comfort

Why not teach your child the alphabet in French as well as English? We all know children pick up languages very easily when they are young so make the most of it! Each letter is shown on a full page with a fun illustration. The pronunciation for each word is given in French, and the English and French word shown. Interestingly, the pronunciation of the French letter is also given - useful. The colourful friezes running across each page give lots of opportunity for discussion - and perhaps for finding some more French words! The quiz at the end is useful reinforcement. A really practical book.

Mira Donde Vivo!/ Look Where I Live by Lone Morton and Catherine Bruzzone

Subtitled 'A Bilingual Look and Find Book' this is a fun way to learn Spanish. Angus has friends all around the world and this book gives us a peek inside their very different houses.Each house is packed with fascinating details - lots of opportunities for discussion. Lots of fun as children are given the task of spotting all sorts of objects inside the houses - and an interesting insight into different cultures too. Parents will be pleased to know the answers are given!  The book finishes with a useful word list. In common with all the books I have seen from bsmall, there are lots of different and useful facets to this book and they are all excellent value. Take some on holiday with you!

 What's for Supper?/ Qu'est Qu'on Mange ce Soir? by Mary Risk and Carol Thompson

Appealing illustrations and friendly characters would mean this is a fun story to share even if it was just in English but the added dimension of the bi-lingual telling makes this an excellent book. It is such a relaxed and natural way to start children learning a foreign language. Dad and the children are cooking tonight and it's a surprised for Mum. Join them as they go to the supermarket - can you guess what they are going to cook? This well thought out book includes parent notes, a picture dictionary and a pronunciation guide. Find more in the series at

French-English Picture Dictionary by Catherine Bruzzone & Louise Millar

This colourful French-English dictionary is divided into topics which are very relevant and appealing to young language learners, The topics include the family, the park, the town, the classroom and at sea. Attractively laid out, each word is given in French and English; includes the French pronunciation, and has a colourful picture. An alphabetical list of the words is found at the end of the book. Colours and numbers are also included. An ideal first dictionary,


English Picture Dictionary by Catherine Bruzzone and Louise Millar

A colourful way to introduce children to the richness of the English language. Words are arranged into familiar topics - vehicles, the park, the farm, the bathroom and party time are just a few of the topics covered. Clear layout, accessible font and cheerful pictures all make this an attractive first English dictionary. The alphabetical list of words at the back give scope for extra learning opportunities,

Spanish-English Picture Dictionary by Catherine Bruzzone and Louise Millar

These colourful dictionaries from b small publishing ( are an ideal introduction to another language and a lovely way to get children interested. Over 350 words, all relevant to young learners, are arranged in more than 35 colourful themed pages, with pictures and pronunciation. Just the right amount not to seem daunting, these are lovely books and would be ideal to take on holidays abroad.


I Can Learn Spanish from Egmont Books

We are often asked for Spanish teaching resources so I was pleased to receive this title to review. It is aimed at beginners and fits with the curriculum.  Guillermo the cat takes the student through the colourful pages of the book, teaching key vocabulary. Plenty of interactivity, with fun exercises, quizzes and puzzles throughout. Use the reward stickers to encourage and reward your child - in Spanish too! A very useful and easy to follow introduction. with a useful word list at the end. Visit to complement the activities in the book.


I Can Learn French from Egmont Books

Children study a modern foreign language as part of the curriculum so give them a head start with this series - or familiarise them with a language they are not learning. Bilingual Claud the cat takes the student through the 200 everyday words in this book. It is easy to see the practical use of everything learnt and the layout is engaging and colourful. Full of activities to reinforce learning in a fun  way, I recommend this book as an introduction to French. It would be good to take on holiday to France too. Learn more at, and hear all the words spoken.  


 Numbers/Les Nombres by Catherine Bruzzone

This is a first introduction to numbers in French for young children, suited to children from the age of 2. Brightly coloured teddy bears introduce the concept of numbers. I found the detail in these pictures quite fascinating. Count with the bears in English and French from 1 to 10. At the end of the book is a useful guide to the pronunciation of each number. There are many more in the series, including Colours, Transport and Wild Animals.  

 Colour in Spanish by Catherine Bruzzone

Over 300 Spanish words to colour and learn in this book, which is a great way to learn first words in Spanish. Each page covers a specific theme, such as school and the supermarket. All children love colouring books so this is a super way to help them learn and have fun at the same time. Each object is numbered and the Spanish word is shown clearly at the side of the page, along with the English word. The perfect book to take on a holiday to Spain! Plenty more language books at

Hide and Speak French by Catherine Bruzzone and Susan Martineau 

Hide and Speak French is  cleverly designed interactive book using the proven learning method of 'look, cover and say', facilitated by the integral flaps. This is a lovely, brightly coloured book with an attractively shiny finish. On one side of each double page spread is a lively glossy picture, full of action and interest. There are sentences underneath in French and English. On the opposite side is a list of French words (plus pronunciation) with pictures alongside to be used with the flaps to consolidate learning - the flaps are wipe-clean to allow repeated practice. This well thought out book is ideal to support language learning done in schools.



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