This book idea came directly out of my work in the library. Many programmes advocate having collections of poems, rhymes and songs from around the world and I certainly feel that this makes groups more inclusive - and more interesting. However, in my experience, mums from other countries are also very keen that their children learn the common English rhymes and songs.
In an effort to make these inclusive (and fun) I modify them slightly. If You're Happy is a good example - all the mums and dads have written out the word for "again, again" or "hurray!" in their own langauge and we've hung them up around the children's section. Each day, when we come to sing the song, we pick one language and sing, for example, "If you're happy and you know it shout Olé - Olé!". Because it's just one word, everyone can shout it out - which is great fun! - and children who speak that language and know that word are very excited to hear and see all of their friends say it too.
It is interesting to me when practice throws up conundrums like this. Before I did this kind of library work, I would have focused entirely on producing multi-cultural collections of rhymes and so on. But I've had to rethink much of my theory when in practice some mums tell me, "we don't have a culture of nursery rhymes in this way, so I don't know any in my language" or "but I really want my little girl to learn English ones so she can fit in when she goes to nursery".
So, I'm really pleased that BookStart has chosen this particular book - I feel that all the hard work by the wonderful people at Barefoot to get it right has really paid off.