Product Review: Los Pollitos / Little Chickies
I really like the children's book collection published by Canticos. These are board books with an accordion fold-out. Small hands enjoy spreading these books out on the floor and interacting with each page. Young children love to flip back and forth, and the accordion fold-out makes it easy. The books have moving wheels, secret doors, and moving pieces, which make reading a lot more fun. The collection is great for beginner bilingual education because it provides both English and Spanish versions on reversible sides, creating two separate language experiences in one book. In addition, the collection contains some of the most popular lullabies from Latin American culture, offering children insight into a different world.
Canticos founder Susie Jaramillo is an artist, creator, brand builder and mom raising two bilingual children. To bring to life all the things she loved about her Latino culture, she created Canticos so kids of all ages can enjoy nursery rhymes and songs. “In addition to promoting bilingual/multilingual learning,” she says, “we hope the books, apps, and videos also promote a sense of community and connect kids, especially Latino kids, to their culture.”
Los Pollitos illustrates a very popular Spanish lullaby. (It's actually the same lullaby I sing to my children every night before they go to bed.) Through so much repetition, my children already know the song, which makes the book that much more enjoyable. And both of my children are able to "read" it: My four-year-old daughter recalls the song and pretends to read on her own, while my six-year-old actually reads and recognizes the words by recalling the song. His brain makes the connection between the words he sees and the song he knows – a connection which increases his reading confidence. In addition, each page visually depicts the words to the song, creating a visual learning experience for the words being said. (Because of the book, my children now know what trigo, wheat, is and looks like.)
Canticos has also created apps to go along with their books. We have the Little Chickies app, and my kids enjoy hearing “Los Pollitos Dicen” in eight languages, along with using all of the interactive functions of the app.
Learning a language through music has been shown to be effective in early language development, which is why music classes are so prevalent among early childhood educators. (Children know their alphabet long before they start recognizing each letter because the rhythmic nature of song promotes memorization and recall.) Canticos has done a great job of offering language-learning through music and reading, and I recommend their books and apps as a great way to start introducing a second language in your household.
Top 5 Reasons Music Helps with Language Learning
Music is a natural way for children to experience language in a pleasurable way.
Music triggers memory and recall.
Music can focus the mind on sounds, promoting learning through an interactive process.
Music creates an environment that is conducive to learning. It can reduce stress, increase interest, and set the stage for listening and learning.
Once children learn a song, they are excited and able to participate in shared reading, writing, and other oral language experiences.