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Kids Arte Book Series A Hit

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Aired 12/14/12

A series of early childhood books filled with art with a bilingual spin is selling so well the creators are expanding the series.

Courtesy Photo

Covers of three bilingual books for children.

— A series of early childhood books filled with art with a bilingual spin is selling so well the creators are expanding the series.

Why give a book to a baby? They can’t read. And they will try to eat the book. Turns out a San Antonio collaborative has created a series of bilingual and bicultural art books that babies -- or at least their parents -- are going goo-goo-ga-ga for.

Emily Jones of the San Antonio Museum of Art is one of the books' collaborators.

“We use a whimsical design featuring works of art from museum’s permanent collection to demonstrate to the very youngest of children basic concepts such as shapes, colors, numbers -- while we instill a love of reading and learning and art," Jones said.

And many of these priceless items have Latin American connections such as colorful Oaxacan wooden animals, big-eyed Mexican folk masks and Olmec earthenware baby statues.

Tracy Bennett of the San Antonio Library Foundation, another book collaborator, said the bilingual books are striking a chord -- and they’ve sold more than 60,000 copies.

“Kids really identify with art. The parents say 'look there three, tres.' They are actually see the artwork put together with the book and it all connects,” Bennett said.

She said the books are being bought by parents of different ethnic backgrounds drawn by the bilingual elements. It’s never too early to start Spanish 101.

Trinity University Press is expanding the three-book series to nine books. And they’re on sale at museum shops, book stores and Target stores across the nation.

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