What's New at Booklandia?/ ¿Qué hay de nuevo en Booklandia?


<h2"Collaborative Post with Nene Bilingüe" />

Collaborative Post with Nene Bilingüe

0 "Being raised speaking both Spanish and English, I always felt there was a time and place for each. Rarely did I mix them, rather it was more of an either-or mentality. The rule was: En la casa se habla español and at school and everywhere else it's your choice!  Now that I have my own children I want them to maintain their mother-tongue to be able to communicate with the world! I want them to use Spanish at home and out on the street, I want them to use English when they see fit, I want them to choose the right words in whatever language to share their feelings and thoughts. I want them to be BILINGÜE." -Verónica Villa

<h2"#LEEMOS3000 Challenge" />

#LEEMOS3000 Challenge


Introducing, the #LEEMOS3000 challenge!

Throughout the month of March, we will be encouraging members of the bilingual and multilingual community to log 3000 hours reading bilingual and Spanish books as a collective.

Learn more!

  • Maceo Cabrera Estevez

<h2"Review: New Bilingual Book, Un Pequeño libro sobre sentimentos" />

Review: New Bilingual Book, Un Pequeño libro sobre sentimentos

0 When I received Un Pequeño Libro Sobre Sentimentos/A Little Book About Feelings written by Samantha Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller from The Mother Company Foundation (TMCF) I immediately knew it would be special.  I am a sucker for beautiful art in books and the hand-felted characters are beyond lovely.  Just look!


Pequeño libro coverPage from pequeño libroPage from pequeño libro 2

Un Pequeño Libro Sobre Sentimentos/A Little Book About Feelings is written for children in the 2-6 age range to learn about various feelings and how to express them.  This book is part of a series of books by TMCF aimed to boost children's emotional and social well being to better deal with stress and trauma.  Children living with trauma or who have gone through hardship have a difficult time expressing big feelings. 

Un Pequeño Libro Sobre Sentimentos/A Little Book About Feelings encourages children to share their feelings and feel less alone with them.  This book is also a helpful tool for parents who also have a difficult time understanding how to support children with their feelings.   

I see lots of bilingual books each day and I really like that the publisher decided to do two different font styles for English and Spanish.  What I have learned from bilingual teachers is that children who read these books can't tell the difference between the languages if it is not presented to them.  For their first bilingual book, this was very thoughtful.

The Mother Company Foundation released this book as part of their commitment to supporting the Latinx community in the US, especially when we are facing various issues that affect children's emotional and physical states. They have partnered with the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) and Para Los Ninños two nonprofit/educational organizations in Los Angeles serving vulnerable children and families.

The book was just released last week during the beginning of Latinx Heritage Month and they have also have dubbed into Spanish "Ruby's Studio: The Feelings Show", part of an Emmy-awarded series, "Ruby's Studio" distributed by the American Public Television.  In honor of this special month, it will be available on public television stations nationwide.  You may also purchase it on The Mother Company's website here.

We ordered copies of Un Pequeño Libro Sobre Sentimentos/A Little Book About Feelings to include in our Bilingual Book Boxes for younger readers and to sell it our store.  We are thrilled The Mother Company asked us to review this book and share it with our community.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 




<h2"Interview: Meet Lufi and Friends" />

Interview: Meet Lufi and Friends

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Marina Carpintero from Lufi and Friends telling me about their new Bilingual board books and Kickstarter campaign.  I was so excited to learn about her company and the beautiful books they have created.  Here's an interview with the folks from Lufi and Friends. 
At the moment I am writing this, their campaign goal is $15,000;
they have $9,136 in pledges from 99 backers;
and need $5864 in the next 7 days to reach their goal.

Read, check out their campaign and if you fall in love with the books like I did, pre-order!  Trust me it will be worth the wait.

1- Tell us about Lufi and Friends and it's mission.  

Lufi and Friends is a company that aims to show children the magic of our multicultural world.  We hope to do our small part to contribute to communities that are more empathetic, open-minded and that embrace diversity. One of the ways that we hope to do that is by building enthusiasm among young kids for learning a second, third or even fourth language and giving them a tool with which they can explore other countries and cultures.  We believe that one of the best things about learning another language is that it doubles (maybe even triples or quadruples) the number of people that you can connect with and the cultures you can learn about!
We named the company for our little ones, Lucas (Lu) and Fiona (Fi).  They inspire us to find fun ways to help them learn, and they are also our dedicated product testers.  A happy coincidence is that the word lufi means balloon in Hungarian, which feels like a good fit for products designed for kids to enjoy learning new languages.  
Our names are Adrian (Carpintero) and Marina (Carpintero) and Linling (Tao).  Adrian and I, and our friend Linling (who is a good friend from college) have had the good fortune to experience living abroad and living in the United States.  And we've seen first hand the power of connecting with people through different languages.  As a fun fact, among the three of us, we speak English, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, and a bit of French and Portuguese and hope to continue to learn.
Lufi and Friends Book Cover
2- Why did you choose to create Bilingual board books?

Our son, Lucas, loves music and dancing.  Singing Spanish songs to him has been one of the best ways to help him pick up Spanish words.  But, as new parents, we didn't know a lot of songs for kids, let alone Spanish songs for kids.  As a result, we were constantly pulling our phones out to play songs on YouTube.  We wanted to be able to sing and dance with Lucas without always having our phones out, and that's one of the reasons we created these interactive books.  They're just like regular board books so they help kids begin to love reading and learn to use their fingers.  But, they also play songs! We love that they combine two really great tools for language development - reading and music!  
We also know many parents (ourselves included) want to teach their kids languages in which they're not native speakers themselves.  Music is a great tool because it helps both kids and parents develop pronunciation.  And we included lyrics and a glossary in each book to help parents and kids learn together.

3- What books are you reading now?

Lucas loves dogs (our dog is named Rocky) so he is super into Perro Grande, Perro Pequeño as well as the Spot books (Spot va a la escuela and ¿Dónde está Spot?
Fiona is only eight weeks old so we're still making her reading picks for her :)  Right now, we are reading a few pages from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls to her each day.  We alternate between the Spanish and English editions.
As for the adults behind Lufi & Friends, a few books that we're currently enjoying include:
El Secreto de Sus Ojos by Eduardo Sacheri
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." 
-Henry Ford
4- Tell us your favorite quote that inspires you.

It's hard to pick!  But one that feels quite applicable as we embark on this new adventure is "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."  It's stuck in our heads after watching Boss Baby a bazillion times :)  But, originally it is a Henry Ford quote. 
5- What have you learned through this process that has made the most impact in your lives.  What challenges have you faced?

One of the best things we've seen throughout the process is how willing fellow entrepreneurs and parents are to help one another.  Everyone has been so helpful in spreading the word and sharing suggestions for this project, and we're so grateful for the support.  
The biggest challenge that we are facing is the Kickstarter format.  More than 60% of US households have an Amazon prime membership and people are used to instant gratification (we're guilty of this too)!  So one challenge is getting people to buy a book that they'll have to wait a couple of months to receive.  
6- What do you want your customers to experience?

We want there to be dancing, singing and learning!  We want kids (and even parents) to engage with books and have fun learning a new language.  The music is catchy, the illustrations are beautiful, and the accompanying lyrics and glossary can help kids start to develop as readers. 

7- Anything else you want to share?

We'd love for parents and kids to share with us - we really value feedback and want to learn as much as we can from our consumers.   If you check out our campaign and have suggestions, comments, questions, please let us know!  We'd also love to know what songs your kids love and what language you would like to teach your little ones. 
8- How can someone support your project and get more information?

Our video shows the books in action. 
If you think your little ones might love these books, you can support the project by pre-ordering a copy of one or both of our first books, Mis primeras canciones de animales and Mis primeras canciones de cuna
If you know someone who would love them, we'd love for you to share our campaign. 
And, finally, we'd love any suggestions for how we might spread the word or what you'd like to see from the products in the future. 
Reach us on Instagram (@lufiandfriends) or via email at lufiandfriends@gmail.com
¡Mil gracias!!

<h2"Booklandia's Choice Read for March: Part 2" />

Booklandia's Choice Read for March: Part 2


I had always dreamt of living on the East Coast so when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped at the chance. We landed in Baltimore, just an hour from D.C. and we dove into exploring the area. Coming from CA, we were excited to have so much history at our feet.

I was also itching to introduce my daughter to the loooong walk down the National Mall. It was a little ambitious for a then 3-year-old but the conversations it allowed really brought home the fact that there are not enough women in politics. Later, our participation in the 2017 Women's March on Washington led me to find Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/ La juez que creció en el Bronx by John Winter.

Through Justice Sotomayor's example, we find again that women should have a significant place at the table.                            


Sonia Sotomayor Bilingual Book for kidsI was pleasantly surprised that the author elaborated on the mother-daughter relationship and the sacrifices Sotomayor's mother made in order to allow her to succeed. This children's biography has English and Spanish translations side by side so that anyone that walks into our home is able to follow along. This has been especially useful when my niece and nephew's join us for some reading. They like to follow along to learn new words in Spanish.

When my 12-year-old niece Jocelyn was born, our family fully embraced the "princess" image. Fast forward to my becoming a mother to a daughter, I quickly decided that I did not want anything princess-related near her. Well, as we all know, outside influences happen, children, develop their own opinions, and I could not keep her in a bubble. My short years in motherhood have taught me nothing if not the importance of balance. So, while my niece and daughter got princess from their grandparents, they got warrior from me. 

 Cuentos de niñas rebeldes

I chose Cuentos de Buenas Noches Para Ninas Rebeldes by Elena Favili and Francesca Cavallo for Jocelyn's Christmas present but my 4-year-old Alondra got a hold of it before it could be wrapped, and there was no going back! Thankfully, I was delighted to find Mujeres de Ciencia by Rachel Ignotofsky. Because of the slime craze, my niece had developed an interest in science experiments. This suited her age better and helped push her to other scientific discoveries. 

  • When Alondra wants to make slime, we use cornstarch, food dye, and water.

They love choosing a new page each time Grandma visits. Together, the three read the excerpt and research the woman's accomplishments. They learned about Patricia Bath when discussing Grandpa's cataracts, they watched Misty Copeland grand jete across a stage, they copied Xian Zhang's hand movements as she conducted, and on, and on. Ninas Rebeldes and Mujeres de Ciencia are wonderful introductions into the lives of extraordinary women. We all appreciate that each biography is just long enough to spark an interest and encourage self-directed learning.

What woman inspired your family this month? What STEAM activities are your go-to's?

  • Bold Apps

<h2"Booklandia's Choice Reads for March: Part 1" />

Booklandia's Choice Reads for March: Part 1


We really don't need March to get us to read books by and about inspiring women at Booklandia.  Most of our books are written by Latinas. 

We still take this time to celebrate women authors and the amazing women and girls in their books!
These are some of Booklandia's choice reads for this month (stay tuned for more!)