There’s more good news for the emerging early childhood book, I’ll Build You a Bookcase, by Jean Ciborowski Fahey – and for multilingual families.
Last summer, Fahey’s book won the Early Childhood Book Challenge Award, which is sponsored by OpenIDEO and the William Penn Foundation.
Now the book is being published by Lee & Low Books, and the publishing company has chosen an illustrator for the project, Simone Shin.
“The illustrations will play a key role in introducing this book to young children and families, who we hope will pick up and read the book again and again,” Elliot Weinbaum, the Penn Foundation’s program director, says in the release. “Talking and reading with children is how we lay the groundwork for strong readers in the future, even when it seems like they are too young to understand. This book seeks to engage children with its emotionally resonant writing and storyline while giving ideas to adults about how to support early language development.”
That language impact will go far beyond English.
As the press release explains, “25,000 copies of I’ll Build You a Bookcase will be published in five languages for distribution to Philadelphia families: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Partners including Reach Out and Read and the city’s campaign for grade-level reading, Read by 4th, will distribute the books to families with young children to help build children’s home libraries.”
The book’s translations are crucial for families and for cities — like New Bedford here in Massachusetts — where parents and community leaders want children’s reading to transcend language boundaries.