the little fig

New 2017 Catalog!

View the full Little Fig collection in one place. The downloadable PDF contains all ISBN and ordering information in an easy to read format, plus links to additional activities, music jingles, and more.

Click the image to download the catalog and discover the latest from the Little Fig!


FAMILY FUN LEARNING SPANISH–“HERDS OF BIRDS” & “FROG HAS NO FUR” (BOOK REVIEW)

This review was written by Brittany Mayfield and featured at Laugh Out Loud Mommy, on October 5, 2015.

 
BooksLearning at least a second language can be of huge value nowadays. If you’re anything like me, the extent of my foreign language training doesn’t go too far past my freshmen year of high school, and the only words I can remember are my colors, how to say bathroom, hello, and goodbye. So, teaching my children a second language does not come naturally. So, when I was asked to review these bi-lingual books, I was beyond excited. I have tried to teach my children a foreign language before, but some programs just get a bit complicated and we do it once or twice and then it collects dust.

These books were awesome! Each page has a sentence in English at the top, and the corresponding Spanish translation on the bottom.

 

ReadingI really think it was the bright, eye popping colors, and the animals that really captivated the kids’ attention. Really it captivated my attention too, stuff for adults can be so boring, there needs to be more picture books for us (yea I said it). My husband and I had just as much fun as the kids trying to pronounce the words in Spanish. The whole family got into it. I would say it has been the easiest method that I have tried so far, in my quest to teach the kids a foreign language.

 

ReadingThe really fascinating part to me, was that they have different language choices for some of the books (such as English/German, English/Korean, to name a few). So, you can pick the two languages you prefer from their choices. The concept is so neat. All of the boys enjoyed them, from the 1 year old to the 8 year old, and as we know, you can never be too young or old (in my case) to learn something new.

Available for purchase on Amazon “Herds of Birds”  & “Frog Has No Fur” Find The Little Fig, LLC on Twitter @SJBushue

Enjoy/Disfrutar!


Making a Difference for Non-English Children: Author/Publisher S. J. Bushue Three Random Questions Interview

This interview was originally featured at Bonnie Ferrante – Books for Children, on November 30, 2016.

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J. Bushue owns, operates and writes books for The Little Fig. Her post-graduate studies have focused on special education. Sherry is published in children’s books, newspapers, poetry collections and was a columnist for a magazine with focus on large families.

Bonnie Ferrante: Welcome Sherry. Please give me a short genesis of The Little Fig.

S.J. Bushue: First, thank you for this opportunity. The Little Fig’s name originated in 2014 from my love of figs, more precisely, Fig Newtons. I visualize fig trees and children’s education as being quite similar in their potential; starting from a tiny seed then rapidly cultivating in environments worldwide. There are 67 different languages spoken in my district’s elementary schools alone. Teachers, librarians, parents and caregivers shared their concerns that very few children’s books, if any, were available for the young ones whose English is not their native language. “I believe that children are our future” (a quote from “The Greatest Love of All” music composed by Michael Masser and Linda Creed) perfectly describes my passion of planting seeds by creating children’s books that incorporate languages, music, and vividly bold illustrations for all children to read, be nourished and develop into awesomeness.

Sherry
Ferrante: That’s wonderful that you have committed yourself to filling this need. As a former (Canadian) grade school teacher, I know how much books like this are needed.

Frog Has No Fur
Click here to buy “Frog Has No Fur”: “La Rana No Tiene Pelo”
(So Big & Little Bit Adventures)

The Little Fig has books in Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Korean, Portuguese, Arabic, Urdu, Vietnamese, and a language I never heard of, Telugu. How did you choose the languages?

Bushue: Telugu is reported to be the third most spoken language in India. Teachers in our Midwest regional elementary schools stated they had absolutely no books to offer the young ones who spoke Telugu. I chose those languages as they were the top 10 most spoken languages in the United States (after English). Research was based on the most recent US Census.

Ferrante: I wouldn’t have guessed that. Are all your books English and a second language?

Bushue: All the titles are available in at least two languages. Literal rather than conversational translations allow the children to read along in their native language. Native speaking parents and caregivers can read to the child at home, helping them to learn English too. I encourage anyone to email me at sherry@thelittlefig.com to express interests in additional languages.

Special concept titles are published in one language per book to allow focus on the concept being learned. Potty in the Potty Chair is an example of an independent book for each language.

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Click here to buy Potty in the Potty Chair

Ferrante: For what age are your books written?

Bushue: The multilingual and special-situation children’s picture books’ genre focuses on pre-school and early-elementary-school aged children. They are written with the intention to be both entertaining and educational, teaching concepts, facts and, usually, a second language. Many books incorporate children from numerous cultures and/or use race-neutral, gender-neutral animal characters.

Ferrante: Awesome. Most of your books have accompanying songs and downloadable activity sheets. You also have an impressive YouTube site where all of your books are read aloud in their non-English version. You also have songs, such as Momma Said I Could Have a Cat Theme Song. I am very impressed with the quality of this YouTube site. Children could enjoy the music even if they haven’t read the stories. You have an amazing team of professionals. How do you coordinate and generate all of this from a simple book idea?

Bushue: Thank you for checking out our YouTube site.

Jenni Smith is part of The Little Fig team. She composes the theme songs and jingles from the book manuscripts and visuals of the illustrations. She and hubby, Alex (a drum master) then record the music professionally produced at Chapman Studios in Lenexa, Kansas. They are both very talented musicians.

Coordination of the book idea, the translations, the audios, and the music was a concept at the formation of The Little Fig. I noticed that most children are drawn to vividly colorful illustrations, engaging repetition of words or phrases and perky melodies that get stuck in their little heads. I also wanted to provide teachers, parents, librarians and caregivers material to enhance learning. I interviewed numerous illustrators, musicians, and translators before finding this incredible, fun loving group of professionals who are now part of The Little Fig team. All of them are truly undeniably talented and superbly awesome people! I love them all! You can check them out here.

Ferrante: Here are some of the books published by The Little Fig:

Frog Has No Fur which teaches about the difference between amphibians and mammals

Herds of Birds which identifies the names of groups of animals Click here to buy Herds of Birds, Oh How Absurd!: Las Manadas de Aves, Que Absurdo! (So Big & Little Bit Adventures) (Volume 1)

Happy Happy Holidays which explains American holidays Click here to buy Happy Happy Holidays: Felices, Felices Dias Festivos (So Big & Little Bit Adventures?) (Volume 1)

Potty in the Potty Chair, a humorous support for potty training
Herds of Birds

Ferrante: You authored each of the above. Do you choose your topics based on your personal interests or on what you think immigrants and English as a second language people need?

Bushue: Great question! I was born with a most inquisitive mind. That curious nature is simply a part of who I am. Most of the topics are based on personal interests and experiences combined with something I have heard or seen. If you look above each title’s cover you will see a section called “Behind the Story”. A sample of this is here on our site. I welcome any and all ideas from others who also have stories to tell.

Ferrante: What are your writing plans for the future?

Bushue: The most current title, “Dinosaurs Count / Los Dinosaurios Cuentan” will be available for the holidays. Cassie Allen has created gorgeous, endearing, anatomically correct dinosaurs that will be loved by all. This title will help wee ones learn to count and give the adults English and Spanish pronunciations for each dinosaur. Jenni Smith’s music composition for this title will be one that kids will sing for years to come.

I have boxes, bags and shelves of ideas for continuing to write and publish multilingual picture books. Plans also include music, products and videos that compliment the characters in the books.

This year my interests have expanded to include helping other writers fulfill their dreams to publish. Community services and donations to special causes will continue. There is also a new program that is near to being launched, but that will be revealed later.

Three Random Questions

Ferrante: In your own not-so-humble opinion, what is your most likable quality?

Bushue: I find peoples’ stories absolutely fascinating. I have been told that I rarely meet a stranger and will talk anytime to anyone about anything. Smiles are contagious. Laughing out loud is infectious. Both of those combine with my curiosity to show people that I am truly approachable.

Ferrante: If you had a great voice and had the opportunity to record a duet with any singer living today, whom would you choose as your partner for the recording?

Bushue: Oh my! I am laughing hysterically at this question. “If I had a great voice” is an enormously tall stretch of the imagination. I have been told that I have an extremely soothing voice, both in person and on the phone. However, I have also been told that I am horribly off-key when attempting to sing. So, instead of a duet I would choose an entire room of eclectic talents like George Benson, Vicci Martinez, Ed Sheeran, Tracy Chapman, Enya, Taylor Swift, and the Lonestar Band who could fill the room with beautiful harmonies and place me behind an unplugged microphone to cover up the wailings that may escape my vocal cords. Just kidding.

Ferrante: What was your favorite thing to pretend when you were a young child?

Bushue: I was very much a tomboy in my youth. I never quite saw the fascination with dressing up dolls or playing house. I was too busy climbing the neighbor’s Chinese Cherry tree, racing bicycles with the boys from one house to the other and creating mud slides while swinging on the tree vines that would not always release us in the center of the creek behind our home. I do remember imagining that when I finally reached the tip-top of the tree, a flying unicorn would swoop by and soar me to worlds never seen before. I almost always dream in color. Frequently I dream of being on top of that unicorn sailing across the sky. Great dreams!

Ferrante: Thank you for all your detailed responses. This is a longer interview than I typically print but I felt that the information you gave would be very important to parents and teachers. Hopefully they will share this site with anyone for whom English is a struggle. Best of luck with your worthwhile endeavors and The Little Fig.

Frog Has No Fur will be reviewed on this blog on December 16, 2016.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Note: the three random questions are from “Chat Pack – Fun Questions to Spark Conversations”.

 


The Little Fig Fans, Friends & Family – Fun in 2016

A GINORMOUS THANK YOU to all our Fig fans, friends and family for a fabulous year bringing our bilingual books into your communities.

Barnes & Noble Leawood, KS
Barnes & Noble, Country Club Plaza, MO
Barnes & Noble, Zona Rosa, Gladstone, MO
Dia de los ninos, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS
KKFI 90.1 FM Arts Talk, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Kansas City, MO
Victoria Station Bookstore, TX
Bonnie Ferante – Books for Children, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and Olathe School Districts,
Kristin Kuckelman, New Stanley Elementary, KCK Public Schools, KS
Fairy Tales Imagery, Inc, CO
Johnson County Libraries, 10 locations, KS
Heartland Writers for Kids & Teens (HWKT), KS
SCBWI Bookstore
A Writer’s Blog, Tracey M. Cox
Filipino Association of Greater KC, Overland Park, KS
Bank of Blue Valley, KS
Numerous non-profit organizations who graciously invited us in.
FB, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and other media sites
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, Kindle, Kobo
And more!

Check out the 2017 Little Fig Catalog for the latest bilingual books & products

Click any of the images below to see them larger!

Barnes & Noble, Leawood, KS

Dia de los ninos, Johnson County Library

KKFI 90.1 FM

Barnes & Noble, Country Club Plaza

Barnes & Noble, Zona Rosa

Johnson County Libraries


elephant


lion


dino character


Test

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Barnes & Noble 2016 Teacher Appreciation Event

B&N Bilingual readingsB&N Jan 2016 Event

2016 began with a great time at Barnes & Noble. Kids and adults enjoyed Christine Peterson reading the English / Spanish languages in The Little Fig’s  bilingual picture books. Jennifer Smith played the theme songs and jingles she composed for each title. Deb McQueen, illustrator, drew caricatures for all the kids with characters from the books. Sherry Bushue, author, signed and Cassie Allen, graphic designer, mingled throughout the crowds. It was a huge success.  Thank you Steve Thomas, B&N Community Development Director, for having us featured at this event. Some titles are available in Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Telugu, Urdu and Vietnamese. Check us out! Go to fig4kids for free downloads of music, activities and Spanish read aloud.B&N Jan 2016 Event


The Little Fig Friends – Fun in 2015

Bank of BV Santa EventFilipino Assoc. of KC EventEl Padrino Grand OpeningRiz & wife at Pardo LibraryA huge thanks to friends, family, Johnson County Libraries, Barnes & Noble, Bank of Blue Valley, El Padrino, Filipino Association of Greater KC, and everyone who participated in making our 2015 a fun year to remember.   We loved meeting everyone and took great pleasure in providing books for children to read in their native languages.   Giggles from adults and smiles on the children’s faces are absolutely priceless! Thanks you all for helping our dreams a reality.  Go to www.thelittlefig.com for free downloads of music, activities and Spanish read aloud.


WHO KNEW?

Who knew the scientists would discover water on Mars?

Who knew the Pope would visit the United States and so positively spread his message of love and hope to all mankind?

Who knew The Little Fig, a small mid-west publishing company, would be created and publish over 21 titles in 2 years.

We all have dreams. Absolutely amazing things happen when those dreams are pursued.

Check out our newest bilingual children’s picture book:

Cat 20150909 5 MB Cover


Always Learning ;+)

Throughout the years I have found that there is always an opportunity to learn something new.  This past week I have been with working with a web specialist to add fig4kids’ pages and complete updates to thelittlefig.com. When reviewing the various web pages I discovered that that my blogs were not being posted. In fact, they were no place to be found.

 

I am an educated person. I multi-task daily with a vast array of project responsibilities from owning, publishing and marketing bilingual children’s picture books to taking care of loved ones in need.  I write, edit, read, write and edit again. Then I post on the numerous media sites.

 

Silly me! I was informed last night that I must hit the “Publish” button before any of my blogs can be viewed by others. It is good to be humbled occasionally by the simple tasks and to be made aware of how very human I really am.

 

Lesson learned – “Publish” buttons are necessary if I wish for any future blogs to be viewed.

 

Yippeeee!!!

Sherry


Multilingual works for kids
© 2018 the little fig / sherry@thelittlefig.com / tel: 913.226.6099 / fax: 913.239.9350
P.O. Box 26073, Overland Park, KS 66225