Betty & Cat Bilingual Children’s Books

Welcome (welkom, bienvenue, benvenido) to Betty & Cat, an unusual children’s book concept. Betty & Cat books are bilingual. However, the books are NOT translated. Each critter – Betty, a dog, and Cat, a cat – shares his or her thoughts with the reader in his or her own language. In this way, they better reflect the way today’s kids play with language.

The concept works best for kids – and the adults around them – who have at least a bit of exposure to the target language as well as their own. For example:

  • English language kids who now find themselves in a Dutch, French or Spanish school
  • Spanish or French kids who find themselves in an English school
  • Dutch or Spanish kids who find themselves in a French school
  • Kids whose parents each speak different languages – English, French, Spanish or Dutch
  • Kids whose grandparents speak French, Spanish or Dutch and are unsure of their English language skills – or the other way around: they speak English but now find themselves with a Spanish, French or Dutch-speaking grandchild. Reading the books together can create a long-lasting bond and boost confidence
  • Kids who are bilingual, but can’t find any books that reflect their facility with both languages

The series includes:

The first book, in which the characters are introduced. This is available in all four language combinations: Spanish/English and Spanish/French, Dutch/English, Dutch/French, and French/ English.

  • Thuis bij Betty & Cat At Home
  • Thuis bij Betty & Cat Chez eux
  • Chez Betty & Cat At home
  • At home with Betty & Cat En casa
  • Chez Betty & Cat En casa

The second book in the series may have a particular resonance with kids who have moved from one country to another. (Spoiler alert: it has a happy ending!). It’s available in French/English and Dutch/English:

  • In de Kennel met Betty & Cat In the Kennel
  • Au Chenil avec Betty & Cat In the Kennel

The last book in the series tells the story of one cold, snowy week in the lives of our dog and cat. Again, this is available in French/English and Dutch/English:

  • Het sneeuwt bij Betty & Cat In the snow, and
  • Il neige chez Betty & Cat In the snow

18 thoughts on “Betty & Cat Bilingual Children’s Books

    • Hi Josie – I was just going over my website, and saw your comment (not sure if I replied or not – hopeless at tech!). I recently sent a series of the existing books to a German publisher, who seems interested. Fingers crossed!


  1. Bonjour Hennie,
    je viens d,avoir l,adresse de ton site par herman, à qui j,ai envoyé un courriel pour son anniversaire. Tu as l,air de bien t,amuser avec la création de ces livres ? Félicitations.
    ASi tu passes par Québec, fais-moi signe. Il me fera plaisir de te revoir.
    Sylvie Ruel

  2. J’aimerais savoir où je peux acheter ces livres ( j(habite Toulouse, France)
    Merci de votre réponse et bravo pour le travail accompli.

    Jean-Pierre Quayret

    • Merci, Jean-Pierre – c’est tres gentil! Ca depend a quel livre vous voulez acheter: il y en a chez Ombres Blanches Livres Etranger (ES/FR, FR/EN). S’il s’agit d’une combinaison comme francais/neerlandais, il faut le commander par ce website. En francais/anglais, j’ai une serie de trois livres. Les livres en espagnol, c’est nouveau, et il y en a qu’un seul histoire pour le moment. Gardez-moi au courant, et encore, un grand merci! Hennie

  3. What a fantastic idea!! I absolutely love these books!! I am a tck and I teach 2nd grade at an international school. How can I get my hands on your books?!?

    • Hi Mary – thanks for that!

      Sorry I’m a bit late getting back to you. I was in Toulouse this weekend: the natural history museum was doing readings of the Spanish/French books – great fun!

      If you’re thinking of getting them for school, let me know the kind and the quantities and I’ll do you the wholesale price of €5,00 per book.

      Looking fwd to hearing from you,

  4. Our son speaks Catalan as his primary language, English as his second and is now starting to learn Spanish. Betty and Cat is a lovely book to read with great graphics for a five year old to visually comprehend. We’ll look forward to more in the series.

    • Hi Steve – thanks for that (blush, blush!) I didn’t realise you already had a book (my admin’s pitiful!) The Spanish ones are doing really well – I’m doing a reading in Toulouse at the end of April: the museum of natural history is having a dog and cat exhibit and the book’s available in the store in FR/ES. Can’t wait – the kids are so cute!

  5. Ces livres ont l’air excellents! Auriez-vous l’intention de les publier aussi en Français-Espagnol? Ce sont les langues que nous parlons à la maison et j’aimerais beaucoup avoir des livres bilingues pour mon futur enfant 🙂 En tout cas, beau travail!

      • Oh c’est bien dommage, car je pense que beaucoup de foyers (dont moi même) serions plus qu’intéresés !

        • Hi Maria – je viens de voir ton message, mais je ne sais pas a quoi il s’agit – est-ce que c’est des livres en espagnol? Si oui, on en a maintenant!

  6. Hennie, my three kids were bilingual at 3 years and a month or two, English in the house, German at play school. When we moved to Holland, they dropped German (“that ugly language”) and were speaking Dutch a few months later. The two oldest speak and read five languages each, including Modern Hebrew by my son. What the bi- and trilingual brain can do, besides absorb other languages as needed, is to recognize that there are patterns in everything cultural that can be applied to new facts, or at least that’s how I see it. I wish we’d had your books for my grandchildren, who haven’t moved around and needed to adapt the way their parents did.

  7. Excellent idea and execution by the author and illustrator. The series is brilliant and the drawings delightful.
    Well done and congratulations.

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