I have two very special picture books to share today, both by master storyteller Mike Lockett. The books are bilingual, having both English and Chinese text. Reviewing bilingual picture books is a Frog on a Blog first. Both of these gorgeously illustrated books include an audio CD which tells the story in English and also in Chinese. The CD adds an important element to the reading process and will help new readers and new language learners follow along with the story. It’s also an enjoyable experience. I know, I tried it! Both books are slated to be released in Spanish in the very near future.
First up is Teddy Bear, which was released in the US in 2010. It’s based on the well-known children’s song “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around”, and stars an adorable stuffed bear who only has one wish, to be loved by a child. Will his wish come true? The beautiful cover art caught my eye right away. And of course, the book is filled with illustrator Lulu Yang’s wonderful, whimsical illustrations, which were created by scanning fabric and layering images in Photoshop. They are quite unique. Young kids will have a lot of fun looking at the book, listening to the story on CD, and then singing the teddy bear song.
Next, we have Sky Food, which was released in the US just this year (2013). It’s adapted from a Native American folktale called Why Clouds Are In The Sky. Sky Food is a story about when the world was new, and people did not have to work in order to get food. The Creator placed all the food in the clouds, which were very close to the earth, and the people only had to reach up and take what they needed. Over time, however, people began to waste their food, and this made the Creator angry. He moved the clouds far out of their reach. What will the people do now to get food? Will they learn not to waste? This book offers bright, colorful illustrations by artist Chung Yi-Ru, done in acrylic and colored pencil. I like the sweet, childlike cast of characters, from various ethnic backgrounds, that are featured throughout the book. Young children will love “creating” sky food using only their imaginations, with a little help from this fun book and CD. One warning though, looking at this book might make you hungry.
If you would like more information about Mike Lockett and his books, please check out his Web site at http://www.mikelockett.com/. He has several bilingual story books, as well as audio CDs available.