Friday, October 15, 2010

365 Days with Kiddos - #13 - "Read" Your Child a Book Without Words - Book Recommendation - Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu


My husband and I read three to four bedtime stories to our children each night. My husband is bilingual French and English. His family is French Canadian and he was raised in French. He is a Francophone which means "French-speaking, typically as a primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person" (according to Wikipedia). He reads most of our French books. I have studied a lot of French in my life, most of it since meeting him. While it doesn't come easy to me, I continue to learn and can read to my children, at this point, in French. I am a Francophile, "a person who has a strong positive predisposition or interest toward the government, culture, history, or people of France. This could include France itself and its history, the French language, French cuisine, literature, etc." I am very supportive of my children and our family being part of the French Canadian culture and we are lucky enough to have a French preschool and school in the next town. Our oldest daughter attends preschool three times a week and will continue on to full time kindergarten next year. I am sure I will be posting about her school a lot. But for now, where I was going with this, is bedtime stories.

We read books in French and English, and I know that there are people all over who read to their children in two or more languages. Recently I came across a very unique book. It is a gorgeous picture book that doesn't have any text called Wonder Bear by illustrator Tao Nyeu. Wonder Bear is about two children who climb a hill to plant a garden. They have two envelopes of seeds, one that has a pumpkin on it, and one that had a top hat. The children go to sleep and wake up to seedlings in the pumpkin row and an amazing flowering vine in the top hat row. In a large flower at the top of the vine is Wonder Bear, introducing himself. From here on the story grows with additional characters that will delight your child.

I think it is important to spend time with our children and books. While most books have text that we read to them, it is a great opportunity when a book doesn't have text. Some people will shy away from this type of book, for fear they are not good story tellers, but you don't have to tell the story. The illustrations are so vivid and engaging in Wonder Bear that your child will tell you the story. You can ask them to do this before you start or you can just see what unfolds. I told Quin that her book didn't have words and we discussed what was happening in the first few pages and then she ran with it. Her imagination kicked in and took over. It was delightful! And the next night it was different, and the next a bit different. By the time it was time to return the book to the library we decided to renew it because we were having so much fun. I am sure that from now on we will be seeking out additional books without text, to go along with our other stories, so we can let our imaginations run wild.

If you know of any books that don't have text and you would like to recommend them, please leave the titles and authors in the comments below. Thank you et Merci!

4 comments:

Isolde said...

Sounds like a very cool book. Since you mentioned the whole bilingual thing, I am wondering if you can recommend some books in French for very (very) young ones. I just found out I am going to be a grandma again. This daughter's husband is Haitian and speaks both Kreyol (some similarities to French) and French. Children will definitely be raised multi-lingual. Any ideas would be appreciated. I thought it could be a nice surprise for a shower present etc. Thanks!

Tiffany Teske said...

Hi Isolde :) Congrats! That is exciting!! When in Haiti is your son-in-law from? I have been to Haiti twice. I will ask a friend who goes there frequently if she knows of any good books in Kreyol. I can recommend several in French and will do a post soon. Right off the top of my head, all my favorite French baby books are vintage ones that I have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. And my other recommendations are for older children. But, you can try to find "Chansons douces Chansons tendres" which is a book of lullabies that comes with a CD. The songs were chosen by Henriette Major and it is published by Fides. It has many songs and a bunch of different artists illustrated it. I will try to write that post soon...

Isolde said...

He's from Fermanthe. It's just outside Port au Prince. They were actually in Haiti last year until 2 days before the earthquake. I have only been down there once, but really enjoyed it. Despite the poverty it is a beautiful country and the people are amazing. My daughter has been going down there since she was 16 (she's almost 30 now). Now she works for an organization working down there.

I'll keep an eye open for other posts and will look for the one you recommended. Thanks.

Serena said...

We love Wonder Bear! you can make up so many wonderful stories using that book :)