Hand Songs Reading Today


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 to them.

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. ($23.95) 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 coverand 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 literacy.

TheHand 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. Check out 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 AEYC

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 for Kids

“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 interested.”

-Jody L. MartinVice President of Educationand 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 Learning

Arlington Heights, Illinois

You can also catch Hand Songs in person at Women and Children First Bookstore at 5233 N. Clark, in Andersonville.

March 16th

10:30am 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 home!

*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 activities.

Take a multicultural journey with your little one today. For more information, please contact:info@hand-songs.com.

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.

Enter HERE for your chance to win (http://www.chiilmama.com/2011/03/hand-songs-give-away-and-review.html.) Good luck!

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