Latina Artist's Bilingual Collection Of Nursery Songs, Books, Apps Promote Multicultural Learning

Canticos
Susie Jaramillo launched an educational tool for bilingual children. Her line of books, apps and videos, "Canticos" (‘Little Songs’), are designed to entertain children of all backgrounds while helping them learn through creative play. Photo: Canticos

Do you remember when your parents or your abuelita sang you lullabies? It is very likely that those same songs are the ones you sing to your kids these days. But let's be honest, not everyone has a great voice, and for more than one occasion it is very likely that the little ones in the family have wanted to be able to cover their ears.

Luckily, there is another melodic way to keeping the Latino culture and traditions alive. Canticos, created by Susie Jaramillo, a Latina creative artist, came up with this great idea to promote child development including counting, fine motor skills, language, music and pattern recognition. She drew each character by hand, as a response to not finding enough variety of educational tools for bilingual children.

 “As a Latina mom exposed to songs and traditions from both the US and my native Venezuela (I traveled back and forth between the two countries throughout my childhood), I’ve had a hard time finding books and apps of the nursery rhymes I grew up with and, in talking to people in both Latino and non-Latino communities, I realized this was missing from bookshelves and digital platforms," said Jaramillo. "In addition to promoting bilingual/multilingual learning, I hope the books, apps and videos also promote a sense of community and connect kids, especially Latino kids, to their culture.

Canticos' main goal is to foster multilingual learning. Since its launch in 2016, it has received incredible recognition. The first of the series, Little Chickens / Los Pollitos was named “Best Book of the Year” by Kirkus Reviews, and received 3 starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly. 

It is based on the "Los Pollitos Dicen," popular Latino nursery rhyme and is an homage to the demanding nature of babies and unconditional love, care and warmth given by their mommies.

The bilingual book has an innovative reversible design that offers the continuous original story in its native Spanish language on one side, and a new rhyming English language version on the other. To complement the book, families can download for free the app, which is available in 8 languages -can you imagine listening to Los Pollitos in Japanese?

It also contains a variety of creative play activities focusing on fostering child development including sound & music skills, fine motor skills and visual awareness, plus a multilingual 3-D animated video of Los Pollitos.

They even have two perfect books/apps for the upcoming holidays - Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), and Little Donkey with a popular Christmas Carol.

  • Other books in the collection include:

  1. Little Elephants / Elefantitos; which focuses on the concept of counting, numbers
  2.  Little Mice / Ratoncitos; focusing on shapes
  3. The Birthday Book / Las Mañanitas; highlighting the meaning of birthdays
  4. Little Skeletons / Esqueletitos; which emphasizes the concept of telling time
  5. Little Donkey / Mi Burrito; which is inspired by a popular Latino Christmas carol
What do you think?
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Lifestyle Reporter

Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.