The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) has recorded dozens of audiobooks in its on-site recording studio, and has made a special effort to include books for children as well as adults in this program. One of the most productive partnerships LBPH has developed is with the accomplished students from Pittsburgh’s Barack Obama Academy of International Studies Language Baccalaureate program who have recorded numerous books specifically for children. One of these is a delightful new children’s book in bilingual format Aprendo de Mis Amigos or I Learn from My Friends (DBC12096) by Mary Austen. It is part of a series of six books which also include Aprendo de Abuelita, I Learn from My Grandma; Aprendo de Mamá, I Learn from My Mom; Aprendo de Mi Maestro, I Learn from My Teacher; Aprendo de Mis Hermanos, I Learn from My Brother and Sister and Aprendo de Papá or I Learn from My Dad. The entire series is now in the process of being recorded by the students as part of an effort to include more Spanish and Spanish-English bilingual books in the collection.
Geared towards children from preschool to second grade, the books interweave simple, concise sentences in both Spanish and English on every page, and teach the simple lesson that learning takes place within many types of relationships. The format is an excellent way to introduce young children, and even adults, to simple phrases in both languages. The bilingual recording is followed by the identical text all in Spanish specifically for the Latinx community.
Other Spanish language books the students are recording include a story by baseball player Alex Rodriguez, ¡Jonron! or Home Run!, inspired by events in his own life and another by Puerto Rican poet Ina Cumpiano, El Vecindario de Quinto, about the diverse people of the neighborhood. So look for all these upcoming books to teach simple English and Spanish to the children in your life, and to brush up your own world language skills!