How to Say I Love You in Five Languages by Kenard Pak
Published by Allen & Unwin|Quarto UK
Date: 2 January 2018
There is so much to love about this book especially if you want to learn how to say “I love you” in English, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, and French. With some words on each page and buttons to press to hear the pronunciation of “I Love You”, this book has the right combination to engage your child in languages by site and sound. Each page is dedicated to one of the five languages, with a simple statement such as this one in French “Bonjour! (Hello!) Tu es mon ami. (You are my friend). Je táime. (I love you).”
The illustrations really appeal to me, they are simple but delightful and the combinations of colour in each illustration are bright but muted. What I mean by this is that the colours aren’t neon bright but have a softness in the palette. The panel on the side which houses the buttons to press can be recognised by readers and non readers. This is made possible due to the buttons having the children’s faces from the book to match each individual language page. Additionally, underneath the button is the name of the language.
The suggested age range for this book is for 4 to 7 years, but I would happily recommend this book from birth. Children absorb a lot in their first five years, language being one of these factors, and given that there are only a few words on each page the attention of even a two year old is likely to be held.
A feature of the book that people will appreciate is that there is an on/off switch which means the battery won’t run out quickly, and a parent can turn it off if need be. I like that it is also quite lightweight even with the buttons on the side, which means it can easily be held by your child without adult assistance. I am a big believer in children being able to access books without assistance so they can enjoy them at anytime.
The one aspect that could be improved upon is that compared to other books recently that are of a similar nature, the audio isn’t very clear and the words are said quite fast. If the words had been sounded out more then they would have been easier to understand and learn to pronounce.
I think this is a great starter book for learning language through audio and in print. I think each of the pages with their little story children can relate to. Learning to say I love you is a positive sequence of words to start with and soon your little one will be saying “Te amo.”
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review this book