As parents of bilingual kids, one of our most important aims is nurturing a positive attitude toward the minority language. When a child feels that this language has value, that it benefits his or her life, our efforts to promote its growth can be far more effective. The reverse, I’m afraid, is also true, and if the child doesn’t feel much value in learning or using this language, the road ahead will be more difficult and less productive.
It’s like swimming with the current, or against it. (A fitting metaphor for the book I’m sharing today! )
I’ve written several posts which involve this idea of instilling a sense of value in the minority language. You may want to return to these links after reading through this post (and entering the giveaway!)…
“Bilingual” in a different sense
Although I regularly receive requests to review bilingual picture books, I’m generally unable to do much more than offer loud shout-outs on my Facebook page or through Twitter (which I’m always happy to do). The reason is, bilingual picture books are typically written for an audience of two specific languages…and the readership of this blog is much broader than that. Naturally enough, my aim is to produce posts that will be of interest to as many parents as possible, whatever their languages or circumstances.
However, when Laura Caputo-Wickham contacted me about her new picture book, A Fish in Foreign Waters, I quickly saw that this book is different: it’s “bilingual” in a different sense.
Written in English, the book shares the simple story of a fish named Rosie Ray who moves with her family from one part of the ocean to another and faces a new culture and language.
Despite some initial difficulties, which prompt worries about being different, in the end she comes to see the deeper value of having a second language.
Ultimately, Rosie Ray realizes (and this is something I hope bilingual kids around the world will feel in their own little hearts):
“I guess I am different in a cool sort of way!”
Great resource to aid your efforts
A Fish in Foreign Waters is a lovely little book with an uplifting message that speaks directly to bilingual kids. Laura tells the tale in winning rhyme while Pamela Goodman brings the story to colorful life with her sweet illustrations. For families with bilingual children—particularly younger kids at the picture book stage—this is a must-have resource that can aid your efforts to nurture a positive attitude toward the minority language. (And if your child doesn’t understand English, just tell the story in the language that suits your family.)
Published in paperback by Long Bridge Publishing, see this page at their website for more information on the book and where you can order it online. You can also win a free copy, signed by Laura for your kids, by entering this special giveaway at Bilingual Monkeys!
Lulu reached her hand into the fishbowl first and picked…
Raquel in the United States
And Roy found our second winner by selecting…
Isabel in Italy
Congratulations to you both! And a big thank you to everyone who entered. Laura and I wish all of you much success on your bilingual journey!
To enter the giveaway, just follow these three simple steps…
1. Share this post with others via social media. Help spread the word on this unique picture book for bilingual kids. Use the sharing buttons below or simply copy and paste this link…
2. Leave a comment below with the following information. (And please proofread your comment, before submission, to check that the information is complete.)
1. Your first name and where you live (Example: Adam in Japan)
2. Your children and their ages (Example: Girl, 11 and Boy, 8)
3. Your two (or more) languages (Example: Japanese, English, and Spanish)
4. Name one thing you do to promote a positive attitude toward your minority language(s). (Example: I seek out opportunities for my kids to experience that their minority language is not only useful to themselves, but can be helpful to others, too.)
3. All entries must be submitted by the morning of Saturday, November 21 (Japan time). On that day, the comments will be printed out and cut apart to serve as entry slips for the drawing. The slips will be placed in a big, empty fishbowl and my daughter and son will each select one winner at random. I’ll then contact the lucky winners by email and update this post with the results.
I may not respond to these comments, but Laura and I look forward to seeing them. Thank you for entering the giveaway, and for sharing this information about Laura’s book with others!