Read and Rhyme With Me From Many Lands
Here at ChiIL Out, we're all about supporting
local publishing, books, and independent book stores. And
we're huge proponents of teaching children other languages and
about other cultures. We know little ones thrive on songs,
stories and rhymes, and foreign languages come naturally and easy
My own mother taught ESL for 25 years, to children from around the
world, and placed exchange students. She gave me an early
appreciation for other cultures, as I was luck to grow up in a home
where we fed and befriended families and students from many
different countries. She's still in touch with an astounding
number of former students.
In that vein, we have a special book/CD combo give away
this month, Hand Songs: Read and Rhyme With Me From Many
Lands. This eclectic and innovative book comes from
Chicago-area company, Stepping Stones Media
Productions who have been around since 2008 and are self
described as a multilingual, children's educational (we like to
talk with our hands) media company. Kathleen
Ermitage and Kit San Fratello followed their passion for
literature, languages, and cultures---and sought to fill a need: to
give parents and caregivers a boost of confidence and a little
inspiration when reading to little ones.
*Enter through midnight 3/30, at the bottom of our review,
for your chance to win this fabulous book/CD combo. Hand Songs: Read
and Rhyme With Me From Many Lands.
Stepping Stones has produced an early childhood
book and CD with four languages: Spanish, French, Hindi, and
Mandarin. All of the pieces in Hand Songs: Read
and Rhyme with Me are songs, rhymes, or poems and are in
the original language as well as in English. They're great
for internationally minded parents as well as ELL, foreign
language, early childhood and special ed. teachers.
Hand Songs has a gorgeous, glossy
cover and durable pages, to last for years in the homes
of active babies and toddlers. With a spiral binding,
this book is also class room friendly, with easy pages to hold up
and flip for groups of children. The colorful
illustrations feature a rainbow of children from around the world
and are sure to captivate little learners. The simple,
accompanying diagrams showing the motions, will put parents and
teachers at ease that they're "demonstrating it right".
ChiIL Mama was particularly impressed with the "before" pages that
accompany each of the Hand Songs. These pages include
background on the multicultural subjects like Mexican hot
chocolate, French cabbage, Indian parrots and Chinese moon
festivals. These pages also set kids up for success with a
few vocabulary words, look and predict games, and prior knowledge
questions to engage children and get them to make the subject
personal. Research supports the use of gestures to build
The Hand Songs themselves are symbols for gestures built into
the text. They are finger plays to get parents and readers moving
with the words, and most of all having fun! Hand Songs
are designed to give parents confidence in reading to their
children, and encourage active engagement and movement.
Currently, the books are in Chicago-area schools and
nonprofits--and also in Boston and Colorado.
Hand Songs on Facebook for book reading events, more
testimonials, and ordering information.
"Read and Rhyme with Me From Many lands" has become one of my
absolute favorite children's books. Using different languages and
gestures children learn poems from countries around the
world...perfect for a group or one on one activity with a child. A
must for every child care center!"
--Beth Lakier, Executive Director, One Hope United, Pres. Chicago
We've found Hand Songs books to be great complements to teaching
kids new languages. The symbols provide a tactile means for young
learners to express themselves, and the illustrations are
beautiful, so our students' parents enjoy looking through them with
their kids. We hope you can make use of Hand Songs books as well.
-Michael Fee, Founder/Managing Director, Lango - Foreign Languages
"This book is durable.... The illustrations are beautiful and
encourage the children to use their imagination... There are a
variety of subjects, languages and techniques in the illustrations
and art which will keep children as well as teachers
-Jody L. MartinVice President of Education and
TrainingCrème de la Crème
"This book builds on delightful songs from many cultures with
imaginative lessons and activities for enhancing the reading
experience for young children."-K. Scannell Librarian
The Illinois Resource Center: Resources for Teaching and
Arlington Heights, Illinois
You can also catch Hand Songs in person at Women and Children
First Bookstore at 5233 N. Clark, in Andersonville.
Hand Songs: Read and Rhyme with Me
Children aged 2-5, and their grown-ups, are invited to join us for
a very special Story time event featuring the group Stepping
Stones, who will be sharing traditional rhymes (with accompanying
gestures and finger plays) from around the world. Their
accompanying book will also be available, so you can bring the fun
*You can also purchase Hand-Songs locally at Magic Tree
Books, 141 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park.
This book includes one song, two rhymes, and a poem, plus
Take a multicultural journey with your little one today. For
more information, please contact: [email protected].
Enter here all month for a chance to win your own copy
of both Hand Songs and Cinderella Ate My
Daughter, a fabulous exploration of how our
culture's princess mania is affecting little girls. Author,
Peggy Orenstein, was also slated to have a reading/book signing at
Women and Children First, but unfortunately that was the night of
our big blizzard and her plane was unable to land. However,
we'll have a full review in the very near future and 3 chances to
win hardback copies all month.
HERE for your chance to win
Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a writer-photographer-potter-painter-actress-animal wrangler-general creatrix and Mama to two amazing kiddos.
See more of Bonnie's stories here.
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