Thursday, January 26, 2017

Broccoli Bilingual Kids Book Series

Looking to introduce children to a new language?  These bilingual books are perfect for Multicultural Children's Book Day or any day!

Little Frog Doesn’t Listen / Two Brothers  from

This softcover bilingual flip book has English on one page and Chinese on the facing page.  One side of the book tells the story of a busy little frog who doesn’t listen to his mother.  When the mother asks for a broom, baby frog brings a mop.  Mrs. Frog tries sending baby frog on an errand to a neighbor’s house to collect plates, but baby frog forgets and plays at the park.  Mrs. Frog loses her energy and gets very sick.  Eventually, baby frog gets hungry, but his mother cannot feed him she is so sick.  One day she dies and baby frog is remorseful for his poor behavior, and ends up burying his mother by the pond as she asked.  Little does he know that on her death bed she didn’t expect the troublemaker to follow her directions, so she told him the opposite of what she hoped which was to be buried on the mountain.  The mother’s grave washes away, and the son cries to realize that she told him to do the opposite of what she wished.  Dramatic artwork shows Mrs. Frog and the baby frog crying and sad eyed on many of the pages.  Children may learn a lesson from the book, though it is more serious in tone than many children will appreciate.  Families looking for a simple book to practice language learning may find the book more engaging than monolingual readers.  

On the flip side of the same book is the story of Two Brothers.  This side of the book is also English and Chinese on the facing pages from each other.  The story tells of two brothers, one poor and kind and the other well off and mean.  (This reads more like a traditional folktale than the flip side frog story.)  The poor brother and his family maintain their kind ways despite hardships, and one day the man helps a broken-winged bird heal.  When it flies away and returns, the bird has a seed in its beak for brother Heungbu.  Henungbu’s wife plants the seed and a vine of gourds is produced, and each gourd is filled with riches.  The other brother, Nolbu, sees this and is drawn into a jealous plot.  He too decides to help an injured bird, but Nolbu injures the bird himself before trying to heal it.  Animated and exaggerated illustrations support the text and will draw readers’ attention.  The mean brother does indeed get a seed from his bird, but it doesn’t produce as he hopes and as his brother’s seed did.  

This same book is available in and identical English and Spanish bilingual version.  An online app is available with one story in six languages entitled Magical Millstone.  The app offers the story in English, Korean, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and French.  Readers can enjoy the story read aloud for them or text-only.    For more info go to

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