After thoroughly analyzing the multilingual board book Discovering Words written and illustrated by Neepin Auger, it is clear that this book is an exceptional candidate for parents seeking out an educational first book. Designed for preschoolers, this book is best suited for children 30-36 months (2 ½ to 3 years) of age. Discovering Words is a wonderful option for a toddler’s first book because it not only has an alphabetical sequence (Apple, Butterfly, Canoe…) which allows toddlers to get a head start on their ABCs, but it also introduces everyday concepts to children in a colourful, culturally friendly way. This rewards children by expanding their vocabulary while enjoying the vibrant illustrations at the same time. While doing this, the book pays tribute to Canada’s two nation languages, English and French, but along the depiction of each concept is the translation in Cree as well. This multilingual board book makes for one of the most dynamic, unique books on the market, making it an asset for every parent’s bookshelf.
As one may already know, familiarity with the alphabet is absolutely crucial in regards to later developing literacy skills. With the alphabetical order of concepts in Discovering Words, it introduces children to the sequence simply, aiding them as much as possible on grasping it. Parents can even use the alphabetical format of the concepts to quiz their children on the upcoming letters, making it more interactive and interesting for their child. The print of each language is also clear and follows the regular structure of a book (print is left to right) which gets children familiar with the format of reading. There is also very little background on each page, drawing the child’s attention to only the text and the depiction of the text, making it easy to match the two. The depiction of these everyday concepts are designed in a colourful, vibrant way. This is extremely important because it draws in the initial interest of the child reading. The choice of words used to associate with each letter is prevalent in the day to day life of a child as well, especially in a home that is culturally diverse. Words like “butterfly”, “hat”, and “jacket” are accompanied with “moccasin”, “sweat lodge”, and “teepee”, paying tribute to not only Neepin Auger’s aboriginal background, but to over 1,000,000 people in Canada as well. Having three languages present in the book is also a huge benefit. Preschool years, especially the first three years of life, are believed to be a vital period in a child’s life. That mentioned, “creativity, critical thinking skills, and flexibility of the mind are significantly enhanced if children learn a second language at a younger age.” (Clark, April 27, 2016). This means that if parents wish to introduce their children to multiple languages this is the opportune age. By having three languages present on each page it makes it easy for parents to switch between languages and quiz their child on and distinguish each language. Discovering Words has the basics down, and then some. It aids in developing literacy skills, it allows for an interactive reading between children and parents, it is colourful which draws in the attention of children, it’s culturally diverse, and it’s multilingual. This board book is a great addition to any bookshelf, whether it be a parent’s, preschool’s, or classroom’s.
All in all, when considering a new addition to your toddler’s bookshelf, Discovering Words by Neepin Auger is a wonderful candidate. For children ages 30-36 months and on their way to preschool, Discovering Words format is perfect for their developing minds. With it’s alphabetical sequence, it gives children a head start on their ABCs, beginning them on the path of establishing literacy skills. It also introduces everyday concepts to children in a colourful, culturally friendly way gathering the initial interest of the child. These rewards children by expanding their vocabulary while enjoying the vibrant illustrations at the same time. While doing this, the book pays tribute to Canada’s two nation languages, English and French, but along the depiction of each concept is the translation in Cree as well. This is extremely important at this age because it is a prime time in a child’s development stage. This age is the opportune time to introduce a child to a second or third language, and with Discovering Words it makes it fun, interactive, and simple to learn. This multilingual board book makes for one of the most dynamic, unique books on the market, making it an asset for every parent’s, teacher, and educator’s bookshelf.
Published by: Jenna O’Brien