Thursday, 18 August 2011

JaJaJa Books: Phillip & Felipe Become Best Amigos - Early Spanish

I reviewed Jajaja Books' book about Lucy & Lucia a few weeks ago and Lexi absolutely loved it so when Jajaja Books sent me their new boys book Phillip & Felipe Become Best Amigos I was delighted.

As I've said before, perhaps I'm a little optimistic but I was always told that the first years of a child's life are when they are the most influential when it comes to picking up and learning new languages. Jajaja's books are written predominantly in English but with Spanish words and phrases mixed in so that your child can pick up and learn Spanish without even realising they're learning! Lexi very quickly imitated the words I was reading to her from Lucy & Lucia so I was optimistic that she would enjoy this book just as much.

Phillip & Felipe are young boys, who get into all sorts of adventures. In this specific book, Felipe is lost in a supermarket in Spain and Phillips helps him find his Mum and they become very good friends in the process which enables the author, Genevieve Yusuf, to incorporate Spanish food words, Police and simple words like thank you, goodbye, hello along with other useful words and phrases that your little one will hear whilst you read to them, or read to themselves without realising that, whilst enjoying the story, they are learning Spanish.

As Lexi has only just turned 2, she wasn't able to read the book herself so I was reading it to her and she was having a lovely time looking at the pictures, pointing out the highlighted Spanish words and phrases, imitating the words I was reading to her aswell as looking at the brightly coloured illustrations and searching for the hidden lizards on each page. The hidden lizards is a brilliant idea for both younger children who can't read yet like Lexi and older children too as it adds yet another dimension to the reading experience. Lexi really enjoyed hunting for them on each page with Mummy and pointing out the ones that Mummy had missed. A really great addition to the book! Since spotting the lizards in Phillip & Felipe I re-read Lucy & Lucia and saw they have the same great idea but with butterfly spotting instead which Lexi and I had great fun seeking and spotting.

To clear up a criticism that I made in my review of Lucy & Lucia about the illustrations being primitive and childish; I did speak to the Author about this and she made a very good point in that many children's books nowadays have hi-tech illustrations which are water coloured and/or complicated whereas she wanted the illustrations in this series of books to be more child-friendly so that children can relate to them more and, if they want to, can copy and trace the pictures and colour them in themselves. I think this is a very valid point and I did trace one of the pictures so that Lexi could colour it in herself and she had a great time copying the book colours and design so I retract my criticism - a lot of thought has actually gone into the nature of the illustrations so that they are purposely primitive and childlike which I think is a very good idea! Lexi certainly agrees as she loves the bright colours and bold pictures.

As I said about Lucy & Lucia; I think this is a brilliant concept, well-written and I really think that the Author has found a niche in the children's book market. Perhaps in the future, Lexi will be fluent in Spanish and many other languages all thanks to JaJaJa Books with Mummy picking up a few more languages along the way which would be fantastic!

There are lots more stories due to be released soon which Lexi will be very excited about but in the meantime, pop over to JaJaJa Books website and order your copy of Phillip & Felipe Become Best Amigos for only £4.50 here.

Excitingly, Jajaja Books also have audio CD's coming soon which will be perfect for visually impaired children aswell as toddlers who can't read yet but love listening to stories!

There's also games, information about the Author and Illustrator and more information about the books on their website here. You can also pop over to their Facebook page and say hi here. Make sure you let them know that Loved By Lexi sent you :)

Thank you JaJaJa Books; Lexi learning Spanish without realising is definitely Loved By Lexi's Mummy. Lexi having so much fun imitating Mummy reading Spanish, searching for the lizards, copying the illustrations and having lots of fun reading the book and getting enthralled in the story AND learning Spanish without realising are definitely Loved By Lexi!


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