The Big Soccer Game & Dance Recital - bilingual personalized children's books from Snowflake Stories

Why I Write Bilingual Personalized Children’s Books

The Why

People are curious why a native English-speaker who only began the journey of developing fluency in Spanish in junior high school would publish award-winning personalized children’s books in bilingual and single-language books in five different languages.

The reason for this is that when my two children were young, I struggled to find books to read to them that were written in Spanish. This was very troubling to me, because education experts list books and reading as an integral part of language acquisition. And, I saw my children’s ability to communicate in Spanish as a bridge to their cultural heritage; they are half Peruvian. Not having a plethora of tools to teach my children made it more difficult to maintain a “Spanish-only” home. So, when I decided to write my first book, I knew that I wanted to create books for other bilingual families that I simply couldn’t find for my own children.

The How

When I sat down to write my first personalized book for kids, rhyming couplets formed in my head; usually the lines popped into my head first in English and then in Spanish, although occasionally, the words came to me first in Spanish. Once I had finished writing the first personalized book, it dawned on me that if it was difficult to find books written in Spanish in the U.S., it must be even more difficult to find books written in other languages. I immediately thought how helpful it would be if I could provide other bilingual families one more possible book for their home libraries and decided to have the book translated. It made sense to start my foray into book translation with the other romance languages: Portuguese, Italian, and French, because I have varying degrees of knowledge of each.

While my main goal is to create great storybooks, I felt strongly about preserving the rhyming nature of my books because of the effectiveness of rhyming in helping kids to learn to read, spell, and develop vocabulary. I also believed that if I could write stories in rhyme in English and Spanish, good translators would be able to craft translations of my books that rhyme as well. I selected possible translators certified by the American Translators Association, and after interviewing a few, selected my highly-qualified translators: Cris Silva (Portuguese), Mylene Vialard (French) and Alessandra Cortese de Bosis (Italian), and my Spanish copyeditor Maria C. Galli-Terra. Starting with the languages in my comfort zone and selecting translation experts, I knew I would be able to accomplish all of my goals.

Sound interesting? Visit our products page to take a look at our award-winning, bilingual (and single-language) personalized children’s books. Select a book to try customizing charactes and building a cast — there’s no obligation to purchase 🙂