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Ben and Maki - Let's Be Friends

Author: Celia Jenkins

Illustrator: Patrick Ijima-Washburn

Purchase on CreateSpace

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The Ben and Maki picture book series is aimed at bilingual children (Japanese and English speaking) who are either being raised in a bilingual household, are attending an international school, or who have a keen interest in learning language.


With both English and Japanese on the page, readers can understand the story in their own native language as well as reading it in the language they are learning. Having both languages together makes it easier for consolidation and cross-linguistic understanding. As an experienced English teacher, I have made sure the books are carefully graded for the target audience and feature clear lexical sets to help with memorisation.


In order to read these books themselves, English language learning children will need to know the alphabet and have a basic understanding of phonics. Japanese language learning children will need to be able to read hiragana in order to read the Japanese text. Children who are not yet able to read will enjoy having these books read to them.


As well as using the books to develop fluency in both languages, readers will be able to download worksheets, colouring pages and other materials directly from this website to help consolidate their learning. Worksheets are free to download - just enter the code at the back of the book.



The first book in the series, Let's Be Friends, is available now on Amazon. In the future we hope to produce an e-book version, as well as several more books in the series.



You can join the Ben and Maki Facebook Page here.


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