How Beautiful Books Can Positively Affect Kids
By Susie Jaramillo
They say the pen is stronger than the sword. This is usually positioned in the context of Plato, Marx, Niche or journalism, history books or political works.
So can we possibly help bring people together in a country full of friction with a pen, the paintbrush, and our good old Macbook Pro?
Certainly children’s books have been used to encourage the best of our human nature and discourage the worst for hundreds of years.
Beautiful books become even more important when you are introducing a collection of traditional nursery rhymes from one culture to a whole new audience completely unfamiliar with either the language or the roots behind these works.
The marriage between concept and culture, along with lyrics and illustrations, designed to appeal to all, are part of the special sauce in what we do with Canticos.
Canticos books ease audiences into a whole new culture with rhythm, humor and charm. With books like “Little Chickies” or “Little Elephants” children with little to no experience with Hispanic culture can sing some of Latin Americas’ most beloved nursery rhymes.
All of a sudden there is a bond between them and their little Latino classmates who may or may not speak very much English and will feel more welcomed with classmates who can relate to this little bit of his World.
Moms, who understood the value of bilingualism for the brain, rhyming for phonics, and concept books for preschool prep will enjoy our books for toddlers for all of the above. With this simple thing they will also have a little more in common with the average Latina mom that will pick up one of our books and be whisked back to her childhood.
Teachers can also play a role building on concepts that are a fundamental part of every bilingual education while building on cultural celebration and understanding at the same time.
In an era where divisiveness has been at forefront of the media, it’s important that we as artists who serve, find ways of bringing people together with our craft.
It is through telling our stories as best we can to the broadest of audiences that we help shape an integral part of this American tapestry.
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