The children’s books market is a real jungle and it is sometimes difficult to unearth the gems that your child will enjoy. This is even more so when you live away from the minority language (ml) country, disconnected from ml kids’ reading interests, purchasing online with no opportunity to flick through the actual book.
To help you find your way through this jungle, here are a few tips to find inspiration:
- Children’s books blogs or Instagram accounts – Follow a couple of these, not more as you might find it overwhelming or want to buy everything! Lol 🙂 The nice thing about these is that you can bookmark the blog reviews you like in your favourites, or save the Instagram post in your profile.
- Ask relatives with kids – Preferably choose relatives whose children are roughly the same age as your child or slightly older, they will be able to point you towards titles that have been a hit with their kids.
- Ask your child’s ml penpal – This creates the opportunity for the children to write about their books, discuss their tastes and share something together in spite of distance.
- Ask your child’s ml friends what they are reading and what is trending in their school – Here again, the kids will have the opportunity to discuss their tastes in books and it will bring them together, but it will also give you an idea of what is trending in schools in the ml country. Ever so important when you want to raise a bicultural child!
- Ask ml grandparents – They will know great ml classics and remember what you read as a child, but they can also lend a hand by visiting a local bookstore and asking recommendations from the bookseller.
- Follow other ml families’ blogs and Instagram accounts – At some point, they are bound to share book recommendations or comment on what they are reading.
- Get in touch (on- and offline) with bilingual families with the same ml – Share your favourite books and discuss your bilingual journey. These friendships are invaluable. When your contacts will come across book titles that might interest you, they are very likely to share it with you because this incredible journey also gives rise to a nice spontaneous supportive spirit between bilingual parents.
- Find out what trends in your child’s Majority Language (ML) school and look it up in the ml – by searching on Google, Amazon or online an ml bookshop for the author’s and illustrator’s names, you are likely to find that same book in the ml. By having a popular character in both languages, it might help your child feel like the ml is not different from the ML.
- Look up your child’s favourite ML author/character in the ml – what is a treat in the ML can also be in the ml, and it is important your child is aware of it.
- Ask your child! – Books get people talking, so get talking with your child to find out the kind of books s/he is interested in. We sometimes mistakenly believe we know them… but our kids often have surprises in store for us! Listen to what they enjoy or their new fancy, and see what you can find based on that.
Have you noticed a regular pattern in all these tips? Most of these ideas come from others. So do turn to others for ideas and recommendations… Get talking! 😉
- Add all the book titles you fancy in an Amazon Book list that you can share with your relatives. Like this, not only can you revert to it to purchase one of them when you want to, or to remember a good title you had spotted, but you can also provide your relatives with inspiration when your child’s birthday or Xmas are round the corner. 😉
- In your Instagram account, you can create a “Book” section in your saved items, where you can add all the interesting book posts you came across.
- If you are too tempted to buy everything you see, a little set monthly allowance for ml material might help you keep your expenses under control. 😉
What are your tricks to find good ml books? Please share your tips in the Comment section.