Press Release

Little Children Learning Latin
Books Teach Pre-Schoolers this Classic Language

(ARA) — If you want to cause some excitement at your favorite fast food restaurant, try this: Pull up to the drive-through window and have your kids practice their language skills by ordering chicken fingers and fries in Latin.

Your kids don't know Latin? They're not alone. Too few schools, especially those below college level, teach Latin anymore. Why "too few?" Because, if you want to give your kids an edge, there are few better ways than their learning this "dead" language. Studies conducted by the Educational Testing Service show that Latin students consistently outperform all other students on the verbal portion of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). Other studies indicate that learning Latin increases math skills, too. Sixth-grade students in Indianapolis who studied Latin for 30 minutes each day for five months advanced nine months in their math problem solving abilities.

"I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar . . . Even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent," says British novelist, essayist and scholar Dorothy Sayers.

That may well be, but how can you make Latin interesting for your children? A good place to start is the new series of children's books by Marie Carducci Bolchazy. There are currently two books in the series, with two more already in the works. Now available are "Quot Animalia?" ("How Many Animals?") and "Quid Edam?" ("What Will I Eat?"). Forthcoming titles include "Who Loves Me?" and "What Color Is It?"

These "I Am Reading Latin" books are created for children 4 to 8 years old but will delight the kid in every reader. All have charming illustrations (done by talented high school art students) that enhance the simple text, and help readers figure out the vocabulary represented on the page. Translations for each page are at the back of the book as are a pronunciation guide and basic grammar information. Further help with pronunciation is on the publisher's Web site, where readers can hear the book being read in classical Latin.


"What Will I Eat?" covers breakfast, lunch and dinner from a child's perspective, with foods like fish sticks and pancakes. "How Many Animals?" teaches kids to count while also learning the names of various animals, from lions to mice.

"These books are educational, but they are also just plain fun," says Bolchazy. "I hope children find them entertaining and useful, but I think adults will enjoy them as well," she adds. After all, who can resist a book that provides Latin translations for macaroni and cheese (collyra cum caseo) and hot dog (hilla calens)?

Bolchazy, an education specialist and co-owner with her husband of Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, decided to develop the children's books after repeated customer requests for primary-level Latin books. "It is important to teach languages to children as early as possible," says Bolchazy. "The older they are when they begin to study foreign languages, the harder it is."

Latin builds a solid base for the acquisition of other languages as well. A knowledge of Latin provides a foundation of about 80 percent of the vocabulary of the Romance languages (French, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish). About 723 million people in 57 countries speak these languages: Spanish is the official language of 20 nations and French the official language of 27 others. Latin is essential for understanding the key documents of the Western world. It is a cultural link that binds Europe and America.

Latin also helps develop students' reading, writing and speaking in English. Their vocabulary is enriched and grammar is sharpened. In Philadelphia, students in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades received 15 to 20 minutes of daily instruction in Latin for one year. The performance of the Latin students was one full year higher on the vocabulary subtest of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) than the performance of matched control students who had not studied Latin.

Even if all these benefits don't sway you, you'll want the books just for the thrill of being able to say "for breakfast, I choose Mickey Mouse (Michaelis Muris) pancakes," in Latin.

Carpe diem and visit Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers at www. bolchazy.com for more information on the "I Am Reading Latin" series. Books are available in the Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores.

Courtesy of ARA Content

EDITOR'S NOTE: Author Marie Carducci Bolchazy has a doctoral degree in education from the State University of New York at Albany and a master's degree, also in education, from Cornell University. She currently works full time at Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers.

Mardah B.C. Weinfield translated the "I Am Reading Latin" series. She holds Master of Arts degrees in both Latin and Education. She has been studying and teaching Latin for over 20 years, most recently with her own three-year-old son William.

To arrange an interview with the author or translator, contact Bolchazy at info@bolchazy.com or (847) 526-4344.

Courtesy of ARA Content, www.aracontent.com, e-mail: info@aracontent.com