Idioms are hard for language learners, but they can be fun, too. Have you ever heard someone say in Russian, “when crayfish sing from mountaintops,” in French, “when hens grow Teeth,” or in Hungarian, “when it is snowing red snowflakes”? If not, you’ve probably heard “when pigs fly,” the English version of those phrases.
Language Lizard’s new Multicultural Idiom Books take common English idioms and group them into four recognizable categories: food idioms, color idioms, nature idioms, and animal idioms. The books offer a simple explanation of the meaning of each idiom and use them in a sentence. Each idiom has a multicultural illustration with it that depicts both the literal and figurative meaning of the idiom. As you can probably imagine, many of the illustrations are humorous.
If you chose one of the dual language versions, it will also give you a literal translation of the idiom to help language learners understand both the literal translation and the figurative meaning. The books also have a link to the Language Lizard website, which includes several extras that are perfect for educators and homeschoolers: an english read aloud of each book, a document explaining the meaning and history of each idiom, three lesson plans, and some extra activities and games for each book/lesson.
These are not traditional picture books with a story. They are meant more as an educational resource for language learners. They could also be used in a classroom setting for lessons on literal and figurative language and cultural language phrases for third through fifth graders. I love that they include a multicultural perspective and illustrations.
Note: I was given a free digital copy of these materials in exchange for my honest review.