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A must-read: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I'll start off by telling you about my experience using The Very Hungry Caterpillar with my baby daughter. I must say that when I first purchased(1) the book I thought it was far too early to start using it as she was only a few months old. However, I quickly realized that she was drawn into it(2) right from the word go(3). 
I began to read it to her when she was about 5 months old and before I knew it, I had memorized the middle part of the story, which is the juicy(4) one!. So, I would retell that part whenever I had the chance(5), especially whilst driving. I remember this being extremely convenient(6) because she hated traveling in the back seat of the car and for some reason the story always calmed her down even if I had to repeat it over and over again(7)!

I later bought a toy caterpillar that we would take with us virtually(8) everywhere. I strongly believe that humans learn best when we can touch, manipulate things. So, carrying the caterpillar around with us made it easier to evoke(9) the story especially when we didn't have the book with us. 


July 2017 (5 month-old)
Now that my daughter is 19 months old, it is immensely rewarding(10) to hear her say say the word caterpillar, of course in her very own unique way. She can also say other words from the story (moon, egg, pizza!) but most importantly, she continues to enjoy the book. In fact, we love the story so much that we even got a personalized cake from Daniel's Cake for her first birthday :)

So, here are 5 REASONS why I think you should start using The Very Hungry Caterpillar ASAP(11): 

1- It is considered one of the greatest childhood classics of all time
2- It is educational as it is a book about growing up, transformation and hope
3- It has a repetitive structure which is easy to remember
4- It contains beautiful images
5- There is a lot of merchandising you can easily find in children's bookshops and major stores

If you want to find out more about why you should get hold of (12) this book, I recommend you read this article published in The Guardian a few years ago. 

HOW DO I DO IT AT HOME?

1- Being such a popular book, it is available in all major stores and bookshops such as Fnac and Casa del Libro. You can also find it in El Corte Inglés. Prices go from 8,20€ to over 20€ and there are various formats: English only; Bilingual Spanish/English; pop-up; oversized board book format(13); some include a little toy caterpillar... I am not entirely sure how easy it is to find it in public libraries, but it's worth asking if you prefer not to spend money. Alternatively, you could use a Spanish version and adapt it once you have learnt the story in English. This is particularly useful if you happen to have the book at home in another language :)

2- If you do wish to have a copy in English, one thing you can do before even getting hold of the book is familiarize yourself with the story IN ENGLISH. There's a beautiful animated film available on Youtube that I strongly recommend you watch. Not only it will help you to pronounce the most difficult words but I am sure you will want to show it to your kids, too! 

3- Once you have managed to acquire a copy of the book, learnt the story well and feel fairly confident, you can sit down with your kid and start reading/telling the story together. Remember that the more you practise, the better you'll end up telling the story.

If you decide to go for it, please let me know how it goes! 
You might have already used the book in English at home or are in the process. Either way, I'll be delighted to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below! :)

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Glossary:-
1-purchase: comprar
2-to be drawn into something: sentirse atraído por algo
3-right from the word go: desde el principio
4-juicy: interesante
5-chance: oportunidad
6-convenient: práctico
7-over and over again: una y otra vez
8-virtually: prácticamente
9-evoke: recordar
10-rewarding: gratificante
11-ASAP (as soon as possible): cuanto antes
12-get hold of: hacerse con algo, obtener
13-oversize board book format: formato grande de tapa dura

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Entradas populares de este blog

Cartoons in English

I have recently come across(1) the blog Crecer en Inglés which contains LOTS of information about how to raise(2) Spanish kids in the English language. The blog also provides a series of podcasts called Aventura Bilingüe where the author examines issues(3) such as How to travel with kids, The Bilingual Brain or The Phonics Method, amongst many others. Our 19 month-old has not been exposed to screens yet. However, I have heard the podcast Dibujos Educativos y Con Valores en Ingléshoping to find something useful to recommend my friends whose kids do watch cartoons. The podcast (in Spanish) reviews two current shows: Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood and Puffin Rock. Aventura Bilingüehighlights(4) some characteristics from both shows that parents themselves may appreciate such as: slow-paced(5) dialogues, lots of vocabulary and educational content
I will deffinitely tell my friends about these TV programmes! 
If you wish to listen to the podcast, click here. ----------------------
Glossary:-

WELCOME

Welcome to Baby SPANGLISH. This blog is all about how a Spanish-speaking mum fosters language developement and communication in English with her baby daughter in their home in Barcelona. It seems that there is an increasing number of Spanish-speaking parents who decide to speak in English to their children in the hope that one day they will become bilingual. Being a newbie(1) to the community, I hope that this blog will help me find out more about it. The blog is written in English rather than in Spanish, my mother tongue. This allows me to express myself in the language that I use with me daughter making the whole process more natural to me.

Baby SPANGLISH is not a series of grammar lessons, but rather a space where hopefully we can learn together, linguistically and parenting wise. Because many hands make the work light(1), I hope to contribute in my own particular way. This is why I underlining/bold(2) certain words or expressions in the text and provide a brief glossary at the end o…