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Slangman Kids Learn Spanish Through Fairy Tales: Cinderella / Goldilocks and the Three Bears Review by Kathy Gelzer

David Burke
Illustrator"Migs" Sandoval
Slangman Publishing
12206 Hillslope Street
Studio City, CA 91604

Here is a very clever idea for young children learning a foreign language! Slangman Kids Learn Spanish Through Fairy Tales is a storybook/CD combo that uses the vehicle of familiar fairy tales to help children become familiar with Spanish words. The story (which is less than ten minutes) is read very clearly on the CD as the child follows along in the book, which has nice, big print under each full-page illustration. Key words are circled in blue, and an arrow draws your eye to the margin, where the Spanish equivalent is printed in bold red text. From then on, that word is spoken and written in Spanish. Also, when the word is first introduced, it is pronounced in both English and Spanish on the audio CD. There is lots of repetition of these specific words throughout the telling of the story, so they really get stuck in your brain! More than 20 Spanish words, which are also listed on the inside of the front cover, are learned through each fairy tale. Levels 2 and 3 each contain 20 new words, as well as words learned from previous levels. It is a delightful, easy way to learn words in a foreign language.

The illustrations are cartoon style, pretty graphic, and caricaturist. My eight-year-old daughter didn't really care for the pictures, but their exaggerated nature helps convey the words being learned.

The book cover indicates that it is for ages three and above. But I think this program would most benefit children who can read. I also think this same approach could be used for older children with more sophisticated stories. Bible stories would be a nifty addition to this line of products! It should be noted that there are other languages available by the author.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2007