BY JOE MARVILLI
There is a young marvel living right here in Queens.
Child prodigy Mabou Loiseau will appear on the new Ovation series, “Young Marvels,” a look at gifted children across the country. The Laurelton-based 8-year-old’s talent is that of a polyglot. She can speak eight different languages fluently and can play seven different instruments.
From the time she was a toddler, Mabou has had a gift for learning languages, according to her mother, Esther. She would pick up unfamiliar words very quickly, a talent that Esther noticed and acted on.
“When she was about a year-and-a-half, I usually spoke French to her. She was talking to me and she was using some French words I never spoke to her,” Esther said. “I asked her how she knew these words and she told me ‘Mommy, I saw them in the show I was watching.’ I knew right away that she was gifted for languages.”
Esther decided to cultivate Mabou’s talent, teaching her French while Mabou’s father taught her Creole. Mabou’s aunt taught her Spanish. In a few months, Mabou had picked up all three languages. From there, Esther hired nannies that would play with and teach Mabou more languages. As a result, at the age of 8, Mabou can speak English, French, Creole, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic and American Sign Language.
“I like to talk about Mabou’s story so I can help others think about having their kids speak different languages as well,” Esther said. “I know speaking different languages opens many, many doors.”
Mabou is also on her way to learning her ninth language, Japanese.
“It’s pretty fun,” Mabou exclaimed.
The Laurelton prodigy is also just as skilled in different musical languages. Mabou can play eight instruments: the piano, the guitar, the violin, the clarinet, the harp, the drums, the conga and the steel pan. She is also skilled at singing everything from pop to opera, influenced by her mother’s love of Andrea Bocelli and Whitney Houston. Her personal favorite, though, is Ross Lynch, from the pop-rock band R5.
Mabou also said she was thrilled to be a part of “Young Marvels” and could not wait to see the episode.
“I felt so excited. It was an opportunity to tell the world about me. It’s only been a few months so it’s still very exciting,” she said. “I saw a preview but I love it!”
“Young Marvels” will have its world television premiere on Wednesday, July 16 at 10 p.m. To find out where you can watch Ovation TV, visit www.ovationtv.com. For more information about the series itself, head to www.ovationtv.com/series/young-marvels.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JoeMarvilli.