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Remember Those “Surprise Packages” from Japan?

Surprise package arrives in Germany!
Surprise package arrives in Germany!

Today I’d like to follow up on my last little contest. If you recall, I posed some quiz questions about this site and pledged to send a “surprise package” from Japan to the three winners.

The winners—Alisa in France, Jane in Germany, and Vladimir in Serbia—were kind enough to respond after the packages arrived, offering a few photos and describing their family’s reaction to the treasures they found inside. With their blessing, I thought it would be fun to share these results on my blog.

New giveaway!

First, though, let me mention that my next contest—a giveaway this time—will be announced on Friday, with the chance to win colorful bilingual children’s books in a variety of languages. Please note, though, that this giveaway will only be open to subscribers of the Bilingual Monkeys Newsletter. (But the newsletter is free, folks!)

Some contests, like the “surprise package quiz,” are open to all, both subscribers and non-subscribers, but the truth is subscribers still often have an advantage because they hear about these contests and giveaways first in the newsletter. (All three winners of the “surprise package” were subscribers, for example.)

So if you’re not already a subscriber, and you’d like to try your luck in these regular contests and giveaways, just sign up for my newsletter. Not only will you be eligible for every contest or giveaway and get the “inside scoop” first, the weekly newsletter serves as an additional source of support for parents, offering further ideas and inspiration for raising bilingual kids that you won’t find on this website. So don’t miss out!

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Photos and reactions

Now, those photos and reactions from the “surprise package” winners!

From France…

Surprise package arrives in France!
Surprise package arrives in France!
Hi Adam,

I’m very impressed by Japan’s super speedy postal service—the package arrived yesterday! I’m attaching a few pictures of the boys with their treasures—and one of them finding Japan on the map. Noah particularly likes the fan, and Benjamin couldn’t wait to try to do some origami (he was relieved to hear that there were instructions inside). They weren’t big fans of what I’m guessing is dried kelp, but the candy went over well.

Benjamin said, “It was really nice of those people to send us all of this!” and Noah was surprised to learn that your kids spoke English and Japanese instead of English and French.

Thanks again!


From Germany (see the photo above, too)…

Hi Adam,

Just wanted to let you know that your package has arrived! Thanks so much—the kids were intrigued and thrilled to get post from Japan and they love all the stuff you put together.

My son took the Japanese fan to school the other day—while his classmates were fanning themselves with folded paper fans or exercise books, he whipped out his “authentic Japanese fan, sent from Japan.”

All the best,


From Serbia…

Surprise package arrives in Serbia!
Surprise package arrives in Serbia!
Hi Adam!

The package that your kids sent to Ivan and Mila is so cool! They had great fun opening up the package and all the presents—including the origami, the picture, the little Japanese tidbits, the fan and the Japanese coin and little banknotes. Thanks for including the postcards with images from Hiroshima!

A big hug to the Beck family!



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Welcome to Bilingual Monkeys!

I’m Adam Beck, the founder of this blog and The Bilingual Zoo, a lively worldwide forum for parents raising bilingual or multilingual kids. I’m also the author of the popular books Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability and Bilingual Success Stories Around the World. I’ve been an educator and writer in this field for 25 years as well as the parent of two bilingual children, now 19 and 16. I hope my work can help empower the success of your bilingual journey.

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