Mar03, 2017 |
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!
Feb15, 2017 |
This review was written by Brittany Mayfield and featured at Laugh Out Loud Mommy, on October 5, 2015.
Learning 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.
I 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.
The 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.
Making a Difference for Non-English Children: Author/Publisher S. J. Bushue Three Random Questions Interview
Feb01, 2017 |
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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.
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.
Note: the three random questions are from “Chat Pack – Fun Questions to Spark Conversations”.
Jan22, 2017 |
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
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
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
Feb03, 2016 |
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.
Feb03, 2016 |
A 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.
Sep30, 2015 |
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:
Jul31, 2015 |
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.
Sep08, 2014 |
My first thoughts when beginning an author’s blog are those of gratitude. This is such an exciting time! The initial picture books in the new series of So Big & Little Bit Adventures ™ are ready to launch. Two more books are in the wings for publication this fall. The Little Fig, LLC website is online. Requests are coming in to place these bilingual books in Barnes & Noble, on Amazon, on e-books and in schools. Authors and illustrators are submitting their works for consideration to publish.
So my initial blog post is …………………… A GI-NORMOUS THANK YOU
to everyone who has contributed their support, their time, their talents, and their hours of dedication in creating the works that children and adults will enjoy for years to come.
Thanks to Robin Hicks who has spent hour after hour, day after day, month after month, in completing the color designs and setting up the proper formats for hardcover, paperback and ebooks. Your knowledge and expertise bring life to everything you touch. You far exceed expectations in producing exemplary graphic designs. I am honored you are a part of creating this legacy. You are absolutely awesome!!!
Thanks to Alex Smith who first introduced me to the wonderful world of Djembe drums. Your patience in teaching me to play, your knowledge of instruments and your mastery of rhythm adds superior depth and quality to the theme songs and jingles offered online. You are one very talented man!!!
Thanks to Jennifer Smith whose musical expertise and creative lyrics add delightful songs and jingles to accompany each children’s book. Your cheerful vocals and unique style create an atmosphere where even adults are caught dancing down the hall. You are an unbelievably talented musical artist with a beautiful soul!!!
Thanks to George Hunt who is the master of production at Chapman’s Mastering and Recording Studio. Your patience towards those of us new to recording, your tireless hours of edits and your expertise in producing high quality music and voice-overs is unbelievably amazing. Your kindness and love for humanity is heartwarming. You are perfectly incredible!!!
Thanks to Marlee Coyne for your translations, your voice overs of both English and Spanish book readings, and for your entertaining stories told in between recording edits. You are a wonderful teacher and I am honored to be among the hundreds you are instructing with such dedication. Your voice has the perfect tones, allowing all to sit back and simply enjoy listening. You are astounding!!!
Thanks to Phil Singleton, owner of Kansas City Web Design, for developing and launching The Little Fig, LLC onto the internet. Your guidance and instruction combined with the desire to meet our requests for a new and unique web address has created an awe-inspiring website. Your attention to detail, your innovative and client specific site development, and your dedication in placing the company in the top SEO searches is unmeasurable. You are priceless!!!
A very special thanks to my family and friends who have been so very patient, helpful and understanding. This past year my time has been spent with the start-up of a publishing company with my friend/illustrator, hiring a graphic designer, contracting musicians and translators, writing 7 books, and publishing 4 children’s bilingual picture books. All this was only possible because of their love, support, and encouragement to fulfill my dreams.