Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Aunt Katie's Place: Bilingual Audiobooks for Language Learners

This is a sponsored book post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It may use affiliate links.

It has been quite a while since I've taken the time to talk about audiobooks. But make no mistake, I believe that audiobooks are an essential part of learning. A few years ago, I dedicated a whole week to them and wrote about the many benefits that they provide to beginning, intermediate, and advanced readers. I urge you to read that post to learn why you should incorporate audiobooks into your own classroom or life at home.

So I was pretty open when I received an email from a new author who is launching a new series of books with a free audio download to accompany each one. The first book, Gracie: A bilingual adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is now available in THREE versions: Spanish/English, German/English, and French/English.

There is so much to love about this first book! The illustrations, the storyline, the audio... every last one of them is sweet and lovely and engaging. When you first open the book, you are directed to the author's (Kathryn Leslie, aka "Aunt Katie") website - dubbed Aunt Katie's Place - to download the free audio. You have two options: a bilingual version (English and the target language), or an immersion version (target language only). I chose the bilingual version to go with my book. 

When I first sat down to read it with the accompanying Spanish/English audio, my 2-year-old happened to walk by and he was immediately captivated. He climbed onto my lap and quietly listened and looked at the illustrations as I turned the pages in time with the audio. He pointed to different items on each page as we read along. 

Oh, my goodness. The audio. It's just ADORABLE! And so professionally done. I can't tell you how much we enjoyed listening to it. The Spanish translation is beautifully done by Paula Torreiro, a high school English professor in Spain.  And the music and sound effects really give the story life... they even kept my 2-year-old's rapt attention. (No, 2 is not the target age range!) 

Katie tells the English side of the story, which is perfect because this first story is based on the author's real-life experience when she and her mother found Gracie (the subject of the story) in a parking lot and went on to adopt her. In fact, in the back of the book, you can see a picture of Gracie with Katie's mom, Nancy. 

And the ink and watercolor illustrations are just perfect. They were drawn by Argentine artist, Anita Morra. In fact, you can watch a short video that shows how Morra created her illustrations for Gracie: 

In addition, the back of the book contains a Look-and-Find section of beautiful plants native to the Ashe county area of North Carolina. The author challenges the reader to look for the plants inside the pages of the book. It's so educational!

And I love how personal and authentic this series is. For example, the dog barks heard in the audio is from the real Gracie! And the lovely music written for the audio was composed by Aunt Katie's talented brother, Peter. Go visit the website to learn more about this excellent book series. You can tell that Katie has poured her heart and soul into creating this quality product! 

Want a peek before you buy? Watch the book trailer...

Special Deals!

Now here's the awesome news: Aunt Katie's Place offers special deals to libraries and teachers who purchase multiple books. These deals include bookmarks, mini posters, wall posters, and table tents.

And here's the even more awesome news: Mommymaestra readers can get 15% off their purchase at Aunt Katie's Place with the code: mommymaestra20. This offer is only good on the author's website (link above) and is good through June 2020.

NOTE: The hardback versions are only available directly from Aunt Katie's website. Everywhere else (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Target) only offer paperback versions. 


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