Ahhh, summer… For three months, there’s no rushing the kids out the door to school. Packing lunches? NOPE. That 3-D model of Jupiter your son forgot to tell you about until the night before it was due? A distant memory.
However, summer can bring its challenges—like too much free time. And loss of brain function. We parents need to keep them thinking and reading, a least a little bit, between pool visits and marathon bike rides during the months of June, July, and August. And if you’re anything like me, children’s literature can be overwhelming. Trips to the library mean roaming row after row of books, hoping something catches your eye (or more importantly your child’s eye) that will spark some cognitive stimulation.
That’s why I’m telling you about Canticos Little Chickies / Los Pollitos by Susan Jaramillo—a book chock full of good stuff to work your kids’ little brains. Read one way, the story of three baby chicks hatching and bonding with their mommy is in English. Flip the book over and the same story is read in Spanish! That’s right—two versions. One book. The fact that they could flip the book over and read the exact same story in another language was fascinating to my kids. But wait, there’s more. The book is interactive, with lip-the-flaps and a turning wheel to show the mommy chicken’s moving feet as she runs off to find food. Maybe you have calm kids who are naturally captivated by any story. My 3-year-old is not one of those kids. He will only engage in a book if he can interact with it, so lifting the flaps and making mommy chicken go was a big deal for him.
Based on “Little Chickies Squeal/Los Pollitos Dicen”, one of the most popular nursery rhymes in the Spanish speaking world, this is a story of a mother caring for and bonding with her babies—a concept children can relate to cross-culturally. And it is this book’s universal simplicity that helped my kids to learn new Spanish words. The titles (again, flipping the book front to back) of Little Chickies and Los Pollitos helped them learn that pollitos means chickens. On subsequent pages, “hambre”, “frio”, “maize” and “comida” were more words they learned as they matched them up to their English translations.
We read the story a few times in both English and Spanish, lifting the flaps and turning Mommy Chicken’s legs. And then I introduced my children to the app “Little Chickies (Los Pollitos) by Canticos – Sing, Play & Learn with Latino Nursery Rhymes” by Encantos Media Studios, Inc. This app is fantastic. My kids are 7, 5 and 3, obviously at a range of cognitive ability levels. Each child enjoyed the variety of activities this app offered. From creating music via different musical instruments on the screen, to then listening to the “Little Chickies” song in eight different languages, to decorating eggs with colors, faces, and patterns, this app provided endless engagement for my kids to explore their creativity and tap into several forms of intelligence.
If you are scrambling for summer activities like I am, check out Little Chickies / Los Pollitos and the app that goes with it. You won’t be disappointed. The links for purchasing the book as well as the app for I-Phone/I-Pad or Android are listed below.
Subscribe to Little Chickies /Los Pollitos Youtube channel.
**Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of Little Chickies / Los Pollitos and compensation for this review. All opinions stated are my own.**