The Bitty Bao books come in Mandarin to English and Cantonese to English.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- A local mom duo created a line of Chinese bilingual books for children. Former LAUSD elementary school teachers Lacey Benard and Lulu Cheng launched Bitty Bao about two and a half years ago. Lulu - who was born in Taiwan - said she struggled to find very many books in mandarin at the public libraries and wanted her children to feel connected to their grandparents and their heritage.
"Language and culture was very much a part of everyday life, but, my children wouldn't experience that living here and being far away from family," said Lulu Cheng, one of Bitty Bao's co-founders. "So, for us, Bitty Bao helped my children realize that it can be an everyday thing no matter where we live."
Now, they have more than a dozen different books with subjects ranging from shapes and colors to food and festivals. The educational books have QR codes on the backs that can be scanned for audio recordings of the books being read bilingually. They said they want their books to celebrate language, culture and tradition and hope the representation validates peoples' experiences.
"When you see something in print as a child or even as an adult, you just feel more connected," said Lacey Benard, Bitty Bao's other co-founder. "You feel like the things you see at home or the things you see with you family when you're celebrating or the things you see at the restaurant that you frequent is valid and important."
Cheng and Benard said support for the book line has been amazing. They said it just speaks to the need for more representation. They've even begun putting out Asian inspired wooden toys.
"I think books and products like this really do help in bridging that gap," Benard said. "And hopefully we'll propel our children forward as they grow, so that they can help build a better, more accepting, more loving and kind world."
The Bitty Bao books come in Mandarin to English and Cantonese to English. Cheng and Benard said any and everyone can learn from them. You can find the Bitty Bao books on their website or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other major stores.
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