Thursday, March 13, 2014

Author Nicole Weaver Discusses Trilingual Children’s Book



I’m delighted today to welcome award-winning author Nicole Weaver here to talk about her latest release, MY BROTHER IS MY BEST FRIEND, a trilingual children’s story told in English, Spanish and French.

Finding books that not only entertain youngsters, but inspire and educate them as they have fun is always a good thing. Nicole’s book does just that. 

Nicole joins us today and graciously answers some questions about her book and writing for children. First, here’s a brief synopsis of her book:

      Come explore the wonderful world of brotherhood both together and with mother in Nicole Weaver's latest children's book, MY BROTHER IS MY BEST FRIEND. The playful antics of the brothers along with the vibrant illustrations bring their lives into focus. The security of knowing that neither is alone in this vast world with the companionship and love of a brother is heartwarming.
      MY BROTHER IS MY BEST FRIEND is a trilingual story told in English, Spanish, and French making for a delightful reading and learning experience. Nicole Weaver tells a story of the simplicities of enjoying one's brother with gratitude, bringing to the forefront fond childhood memories of twin brothers and their unique shared experiences.

Please join me in welcoming Nicole.

Mason - Why did you decide to write this book in English, Spanish, and French?

Nicole:
I write all of my children’s picture books in English, French, and Spanish because I want to make it available for parents to expose their children to languages in a fun way. I am a polyglot that speaks four languages fluently. I also teach high school French and Spanish. Many of my students struggle with learning a foreign language. 

Europeans students start studying languages a lot earlier than American students do. Last year I had two exchange students in my class. I interviewed both students to get their perspectives on how they are able to speak more than one language. Check out the interviews here and here

I still keep in touch with both students. I believe the United States should make a concerted effort to offer foreign languages as early as kindergarten. In my humble opinion, our children will be better prepared to meet the demands of this ever-changing global world.  

Click here to read an article I wrote on the importance of foreign language study.

Mason - Two of your books deal with twins. Are you a twin or have you had dealings with twins? Why make them twins in your books?

Nicole:
I have twins on both sides of my family. My twins would be 20 years old this year. I lost them during the first trimester. My sister has twin girls.

Mason - What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of writing children’s books?

Nicole:
There are no disadvantages in my opinion. I saw a huge need to expose young children to a foreign language. I decided to write books that would appeal to parents seeking for ways to introduce their children to French or Spanish in a fun, and educational fashion.

Mason - What advice would you give someone thinking of writing a children’s book?

Nicole:
book coverMy advice is to take classes on how to write for children. Join a writing group. Go to the library and read a ton of children’s books, especially the newly published ones. Before submitting to a publisher, make sure you are following the requirements. Most publishers are too busy, if you do not adhere to the specifics, your manuscript will end up in the trash pile. Lastly, the children’s book market is extremely competitive; it is a good idea to write about topics that are in demand.

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Nicole:
I hope to publish a third book about a boy/girl twin. I am hoping to get a contract from my publisher soon. The first book is about girls, the newly published about boys. I need to complete the series with a boy/girl story.

I am also working on a historical fiction, middle grade book. I took a writing class, where the instructor made suggestions on what I need to change. Once I am done with the edits, I will hire a professional editor to do a second round of edits before submitting it to my publisher.

Schools or individuals looking to purchase my book can go directly to my publisher’s website.  Schools, churches, and individuals interested in buying 5 or more copies can get a 40% discount by going here.

Nicole, thanks so much for joining us today and giving us insight into the writing of your books. I never thought about the children’s book market being very competitive, but it does make sense once you stop and think about it.

Now let me share a bit of background on Nicole.

Nicole was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. She came to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish, and English. She is a veteran teacher of French and Spanish. 

Her deep connection with family resulted in her writing and publishing, MY BROTHER IS MY BEST FRIEND: A Trilingual Story, by Guardian Angel Publishing, January 2014. Nicole also penned two other children’s trilingual picture books entitled, MY SISTER IS MY BEST FRIEND and MARIE AND HER FRIEND THE SEA TURTLE.

For more on Nicole and her writing, visit her website and blog, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

I’d like to share my thoughts on this charming book.


Enjoying one’s brother with appreciation, while delighting in the simple things in life, is the focus of author Nicole Weaver’s children’s story. The author demonstrates that knowing you are never alone and always have a best friend is part of the joy of being a twin.

In addition, to enhance the learning experience for young readers, Weaver has written her story in English, Spanish and French. The trilingual story highlights the playful capers of the twins as they enjoy their favorite seasons of winter and summer. The side-by-side translations of the story are interesting and enlightening. Each language is presented in a different color so as to make it easier to follow throughout the story.

The beautiful, rich illustrations by Clara Batton Smith brings the story to life and will hold readers attention from beginning to end. The artist captures the joy and excitement of the youngsters in her drawings.

Weaver has created a fun way to teach youngsters (and adults) three languages at once. The book includes a glossary for a number of words in both French and Spanish. There is also a word game and a sentence challenge for youngsters to enjoy.

MY BROTHER IS MY BEST FRIEND is a charming look at brotherhood and the fun twins can have.

My Brother Is My Best Friend by Nicole Weaver, Art by Clara Batton Smith, Guardian Angel Publishing, @2014, ISBN: 978-1616334529, Paperback, 20 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

I do appreciate you stopping by today. What are your thoughts on children learning a foreign language at an early age?
inside of book

10 comments:

  1. Nicole, thanks again for visiting with us today. Your stories for youngsters are both fun and educational, a great addition to any library. Wishing you much success.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mason, for hosting me!

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  2. Mason - Thanks for hosting Nicole.

    Nicole - I'm so glad your book exposes children to more than one language. I have a background in language and language acquisition, and all of the research I know about supports the early learning of other languages. I'm glad your book helps in that process.

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    1. Hi Margot,

      I am elated you confer with me ! Yes, indeed, the research is conclusive , children learn a language best when they are young. It baffles me that the US, does not offer a foreign language in the early grades, like most Europeans country do. I lovingly implore you to pass my book information to friends and family. Thanks so much for stopping by to make a comment.

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  3. That's interesting she writes it in three languages. Kids here should learn earlier, as it's easier to adopt then. I lived in Japan when I was very young and could speak Japanese better than I could English.

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  4. I've never heard of trilingual books before, it sounds very clever! I did have a bilingual Oscar Wilde book as a kid in English and Serbian and loved it!

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    1. Dezmond,

      Since I teach French and Spanish a the high school level, I know firsthand how difficult it is to learn a new language when you are older. We are so far behind when it comes to foreign language acquisition. I hope my trilingual books will inspire parents to enroll their children in French or Spanish as early as kindergarten. Thanks so much for stopping by to make a comment.

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  5. I love the concept of a book written in three languages although I cringe a little at the idea of reading it aloud to my kids.

    I totally agree that we should offer foreign languages in school at an earlier age. My husband lived his first five years in a post WWII refugee camp in Germany. His mom said he could converse with other kids in a dozen different languages.

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  6. Alex,
    Thanks for your comment. I write in three languages because I learned early on that young children learn best when they are young. I came to the US when I was ten,I picked up English in six months. I want to make it easy for parents to pick up a book that is both fun and educational.

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  7. Thanks LD, for stopping by! Have no fear, I am working with my publisher so I can make a CD of me reading the book, so it can be easier for all to learn how to pronounce the words in the book.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.