Today is World Book Day and my social media feeds have been full of photos of children dressed up as characters from their favourite books. Little Man doesn’t go to nursery on a Thursday, so we haven’t taken part in this particular bit of fun this year. So I thought I would write about one of his favourite books right now…
This is “Die kleine Maus und der Mond“. It is the German translation of the British book “Mouse and the Moon” by Christina Butler and illustrated by Tina MacNaughton. I cannot tell you how much I love this book for its beautiful story of friendship and most magical illustrations. However the fact that it is also a German translation makes me very happy, because it is a fantastic way of introducing a foreign language to Little Man.
The book itself was a gift from Little Man’s Godmother at his blessing. We had a very small and intimate blessing for Little Man, just us three and his Godmother, in the gardens at Chalice Well in Glastonbury. We do not see Little Man’s Godmother very often as she lives in Switzerland, but she shares my heart on so many things, and so she is the most perfect person to help us guide Little Man through his life.
She regularly sends him gifts for his birthday and Christmas, and often these are German books or DVDs, because she knows how much I wish to share my love of foreign languages with him. And we do enjoy looking through other German books too, however “die kleine Maus und der Mond” is his absolute favourite at the moment.
It isn’t even something we specifically promote at bedtime, Little Man has just fallen in love with the book and asks for it almost every night. He has been quite put out in the past when daddy or Grandma have been doing bedtime stories and have had to say he needs to choose another book. I think he finds it confusing that only mummy speaks another language – he knows some German words already and so I think he expects everyone else to know them too!
We’re working on this… I have printed out and laminated everyday words which we have stuck around the house so that daddy can learn some key words too. And daddy is more than happy to try and learn. But really what we need is for mummy to stop worrying about getting things “wrong” and just start talking more in German throughout the day, so that it becomes a normal part of our day.
Until then, however, I will enjoy reading this book every night and teaching Little Man what all the different words used in it mean.
Tell me, do you use another language in your home? Are you a bilingual family, or are you simply learning a new language yourself? How do you integrate it into family life?