Language Nursery by Julie Aigner-Clark – Book Review

Language Nursery by Julie Aigner-ClarkArya already has lots of Baby Einstein toys, so when I noticed a Baby Einstein-branded book I thought it would be a good choice to read to my baby.

Language Nursery by Julie Aigner-Clark is marketed with the Baby Einstein logo on the front cover and the cover image is of the multi-colored caterpillar with a smiling face that appears on many of the Baby Einstein toys.

Unfortunately Language Nursery is a great book in theory, but in practice it was the only book I have ever read that made my daughter cry.

The idea behind Language Nursery is that repeated exposure to different languages during a critical period of your baby’s development provides your child with improved language acquisition skills throughout life. In the case of the specific book, Language Nursery includes the same phrases in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Hebrew.

The phrases are loosely based on an image on the left-hand side of each page. Each language is written in a different color with the color remaining consistent for a given language throughout the text. English is green, Spanish is red, French is blue, Japanese is orange, and Hebrew is purple.

Including five different languages in a single children’s book is a unique idea, but the execution is quite poor. A simplistic pronunciation guide is shown in parentheses under each non-English language. I could muddle my way through most of the Spanish and Japanese phrases without the pronunciation guide, but the French and Hebrew phrases were difficult even with the guide.

Towards the end of the book Arya actually started crying while I was struggling to figure out how to read a Hebrew phrase about a train. She has never cried or even complained during story time so Mommy and I assume that our baby must have been agitated by my poor attempts to read to her in different languages.

For an adult who is conversant in these five specific languages, Language Nursery makes for a great book. Other readers should practice reading the book multiple times before reading it to a child. It is unlikely young children will want to read the book by themselves.

Language Nursery costs (including shipping) under $7 new and under $5 used from Amazon.