Thursday, 12 January 2017

One Third Stories Review - Learning Languages Through Storybooks.

It's a lovely day when I'm sent something that I liked the sound of, and it far surpasses my expectations. One Third Stories have really achieved that. Their ideal is that every child should have the chance to be bilingual - they want to start a language learning revolution through stories - and their first books are available now. We've been sent the French Language Learning Bundle to review.


I have reviewed children's books now for several years and I was introduced to One Third Stories at a very early stage when they launched on Kickstarter. I liked the sound of it so much that I agreed to promote it - and I'm very pleased I did. The finished product is gorgeous, and it really works!


The French Lanuage Learning Bundle we've been contains a Story Book (with excellent illustrations by Hannah Hutchings), Activity Book (in 4 languages), sheets of double-sided press-out Flash Cards (one side English) and a French Fact File.


My 8 year old reads voraciously, and is just finishing David Walliams The Midnight Gang, but he left it aside to continue reading The Great Francais Word Search. I was listening in, and he read aloud all of the French words, practising them until he felt he was saying them correctly - in a gorgeous and very cute 'French' accent.


I'm not fluent in French, I can get by mainly because of tolerant French listeners, but each book has a free audio copy to download, spoken by a native speaker, so you can listen and get it right.


The illustrations are beautiful, and really clear, with cues and clues to help,. Every word in French is very easy to grasp, and truly, by the end my son was reading mainly French and understanding it all.


The 32 press-out Flash Cards are a brilliant prompt, and after reading my son used them to refer to, while he was trying to remember some of the French he'd learnt.  The French Fact File is short, but sweet, with clear snippet information in a style that is very visual and really appeals to children.


I love the Activity Book with it's 4 different languages. There are several varied and interesting activities, each repeated in French, Spanish, Italian and German. It's a brilliant way to compare languages and pick up a few handy words from each.



A fantastic introduction to language which  I only wish we'd had earlier. The suggested range is 4-9, and I'd say it's actually wider, as it works as a storybook for reading together, or an independent reading book. There is plenty to interest older children, with really diverse characters and oddities to the storyline, but on a basic level it's just a good tale, so children from around 3-11 can enjoy it. The younger a child is introduced to languages, the more natural it is to speak them - although you can start at any age - I'm certainly finding I'm learning!


One Third Stories books and bundles are available to buy now. A Hardback Book with Audio Book costs £14.99 and the Language Learning Bundles cost £19.99 (well worth the extra in my opinion). Available in Spanish, Italian, French and German. Postage is extra.

One Third Stories also offer the bundle Story Box as a Subscription Box - which will start shipping next month. There is a new Story Book each month, and the activities will include Flash Cards,  Games and Pen Pal Starter Kits, Recipes etc. The Subscription costs from £12.49 per month plus postage.

Find out more on the One Third Stories website.


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