bububooks

Helping children develop their American and native cultural identities together.

Archive for July, 2009

Two reasons for bububooks

Posted by bububooks on July 28, 2009

bububooks' logo

bububooks' logo

After a great weekend at Latino Expo USA and the Chicago Chinatown Dragon Boat Race for Literacy, I thought I would use today’s blog to offer two reasons to shop at www.bububooks.com

1)   Reading skills transfer across languages. Even if your child learns to read in Spanish or Chinese, they’ll be able to transfer those reading skills once they start to learn English.  Therefore, read to your child in the language you’re most comfortable.

Also, children like to read the same books over and over.  If you have two languages at home (each parent has their own dominant language), use bilingual books to read the story to your children in both languages.

The most important thing is to read to your child!  It does not necessarily have to be in English.  Read in the language you are most comfortable.

2)   These books help your child to develop their cultural identities.  The main character in most children’s books is Caucasian.  bububooks strives to offer storybooks that highlight aspects of Latino (mostly Mexican-American as of now) and Chinese culture.  Even if your child doesn’t speak a foreign language, the lack of children stories that discuss topics related to your culture will affect how they view themselves and your culture.

Thanks for your continued support.  We hope to see you at our next event or online!

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More tips for reading at home with your child

Posted by bububooks on July 24, 2009

I enjoyed these tips so much I had to share them with you.  They were written by Deanna Lyles, cofounder of Bilingual Readers, a brand new publishing company which provides resources for bilingual and multilingual families and communities.  This article was taken from http://www.SpanglishBaby.com.

A very patient Spanish speaking mom has been reading her daughter Sara’s favorite book Yo Tigre out loud to her in Spanish every night at bedtime for the last month. But tonight Mom’s out with some friends, and it’s English speaking Dad’s turn to read Sara to sleep. He dutifully pulls out adorable children’s book after adorable children’s book, but it’s no use: Sara wants Yo Tigre, and Where the Wild Things Are just isn’t going to cut it. What’s a bilingual Dad to do? Is it alright for a parent in a One Parent One Language home to break his commitment to speaking to his child only in his native language when the child’s love of reading is at stake?

Most of us are aware that reading aloud to small children is one of the greatest tools parents have for helping their children’s language development along. But when it comes to reading aloud in a bilingual home, many questions arise as to who should read to children in what languages. In OPOL homes the easy answer is that each parent should read to the child in his or her native language, but putting this principle into practice is often anything but simple.

Although they are sometimes hard to find for certain language combinations, bilingual books are one of the best tools for getting the most out of storytime in a OPOL home. While reading monolingual books to your children is certainly beneficial, bilingual books are an especially useful tool for bilingual families. Bilingual books allow both parents to take turns reading the same book to their kids, each parent in his own language. If one parent reads a book to a child in English and the other parent reads the same book in Spanish, the child will automatically begin to associate both languages with the stories and objects on the pages of the book. We all know that children love to read and be read the same stories over and over again, so hearing the exact same text in each language every time a book is read is an easy way to reinforce vocabulary and sentence structure for the bilingual child.

In addition to taking advantage of bilingual books, there are also other strategies for reading consistently to your kids while sticking to the OPOL method. Regardless of whether or not you read monolingual or bilingual books (most families will read both),establish a routine to make sure that each parent is reading to the kids in his or her language every single day. If you stick to this routine, it’ll be a great tool for developing your child’s language abilities in both languages. You can also make recordings of your voice reading your kids’ favorite stories out loud. This way your child can still listen to Mom’s soothing voice read a story in Spanish or Dad doing all the fun voices in English anytime, anywhere. (A friend confessed that these recordings are also great for long trips in the car).

Last but not least, if you’ve broken the rules and read a story to your child in your second language, don’t beat yourself up over it. While consistency is key in any bilingual home, nobody’s perfect and slipping up every once in a while will not scar your child for life. The same thing goes for those of you who may not have been consistent readers in the past. Thankfully each day is a new opportunity to read to and with your children. Happy reading!

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Big weekend coming up for bububooks!

Posted by bububooks on July 20, 2009

bububooks will have a booth at two major events this upcoming weekend in Chicago.  One will be at the Latin Family Expo at McCormick Place West July 25-28.  The other will be at the 2009 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy in the Ping Tom Memorial Park on July 25th.

Latin Expo USA

2009 Latin Expo USA

2009 Latin Expo USA

The Latin Expo USA represents a significant part of the National Council of La Raza Annual Conference.  Open to the public with free admission, the Expo will feature over 200 exhibitors (including bububooks) for you and your family to enjoy.  The Expo will also feature health and career fairs.  The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 25 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 26 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Monday, July 27 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.

We’ve been preparing for this big event and hope to see you there! 

Dragon Boat Race for Literacy

The Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce presents the 9th annual Dragon Boat Race for Literacy. The Chinese Dragon Boat Race has a history of over 2,000 years and is a popular sport among Chinese and Asian communities all over the world. Started in 1999, the Chicago Dragon Boat Race has always been a family-fun activity enjoyed by the residents of Chinatown and the surrounding neighborhoods. Each year, almost 10,000 people watch and participate in the activities. In 2008, the event raised over $6,000 to support literacy and the promotion of culture and diversity in our local schools.  bububooks, of course, supports literacy and so we’re proud to be a part of this event! The competition begins at 9:00 a.m. and races end at approximately 4:00 p.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. Admission is free for all.  Hope to see you there!

2009 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy

2009 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy

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New book at bububooks: The Frog in the Well/井底之蛙

Posted by bububooks on July 14, 2009

 

The cover of The Frog in the Well

The cover of The Frog in the Well

The Frog in the Well retells a Chinese idiom.  Chinese idioms tend to be four characters long and paint a moral teaching.  The frog that lives in a well believes the well encompasses the entire world and that he understands it better than anyone else.  One day the frog meets a sea turtle that introduces the wide, deep ocean full of much more life than the well.  From this experience, the frog realizes a world exists outside the well.

New author Irene Tsai highlights the moral lesson that one should not be narrow-minded and, instead, be aware of the “ocean of knowledge for him to learn.”  She does so in this beautifully and clearly illustrated book—by Pattie Caprio—that includes both traditional and simplified characters along with pinyin and zhuyin.   Irene also succeeds in offering imagery for the life the frog is living, something that will certainly capture the attention and imagination of children.

Indeed, The Frog in the Well has won the Reader Views 2009 Reviewers Choice Award and has received rave reviews that are copied below.

“What a delightful book!  It has a meaningful message, and the illustrations are charming!  My father attempted to teach me Chinese when I was a child.  I would have loved this book!  I know that The Frog in the Well will be enjoyed by aspiring language students, their parents, and teachers.”
                                                                 –Dominie Soo Bush, Writer and Educator, FL

 “Irene Tsai tells stories that speak to readers of all ages.  She has a unique ability to convey classic Chinese stories by using language and tone that children today can appreciate.  She expands cultural boundaries and provides an avenue for nurturing your child’s emotional development.”
                                     –Harsh K. Trivedi M.D., Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
                                     Brown Medical School, RI

The Frog in the Well is both beautifully written and illustrated.  The story of how the frog views his world will jump off the pages for children while educating them about Chinese culture and language.”
                                      –Tom Watkins, Michigan State Superintendent of Schools (2001-2005)
                                       Honorary Professor, Mianyang University

The Frog in the Well is now available at www.bububooks.com.  Check it out today!

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5 Easy Activities for Summer Learning

Posted by bububooks on July 9, 2009

Colorin Colorado

Colorin Colorado

Below is an article taken from Colrín Colorado, a bilingual (Spanish and English) website for families and educators of English Language Learners.  It offers five tips for helping your child continue to learn over the summer break.  Scroll down for the English version.  Enjoy!

 

Cinco consejos gratuitos y sencillos para el aprendizaje de verano

Por: Brenda McLaughlin y Jane Voorhees Sharp (2008)

Existen estudios bien documentados sobre cuánto de lo ya aprendido pierden los niños durante el verano. Harris Cooper de la Universidad Duke observa que “en general, durante el verano los niños experimentan una pérdida promedio de lo aprendido en lectura y matemáticas que equivale a un mes de aprendizaje” (1996).

La cuestión es que los niños no tienen por qué perder nada de lo aprendido durante el verano. En realidad, usted puede alentar a su hijo a disfrutar del verano y a aprender siguiendo estos cinco consejos gratuitos y sencillos. ¡Pruébelos!

1. Leer todos los días

Estudios de investigación

A nivel de la escuela media, leer cuatro o cinco libros durante el verano influye de manera positiva en el nivel de lectura que puede alcanzar el niño en otoño, comparable con la asistencia a la escuela de verano. (Kim, 2004)

Sugerencias

Lleve a sus hijos a la biblioteca con frecuencia y permítales que escojan sus propios libros. Escuchen libros en audio. Suscríbanse a una revista. Túrnense para leerle el uno al otro. Permítales a los niños quedarse despiertos hasta media hora más si es para leer.

2. Usar las matemáticas todos los días

Estudios de investigación
 

El área donde se registra la mayor pérdida que sufren los niños durante el verano es en el área de los cómputos matemáticos, a un nivel de 2.6 meses promedio de aprendizaje. (Cooper, 1996)

Sugerencias

Practiquen las tablas de multiplicar aumentando 7 veces (o hasta 8 ó 9) el valor de cada punto en un juego de baloncesto. Pídales a los niños que pidan cambio en la ventanilla de autoservicio. Enséñeles a los niños cómo ingresar en www.coolmath.com en inglés) para jugar juegos de matemáticas. Invente problemas de matemáticas cuando viajan en automóvil o durante la cena.

3. Salir a jugar

Estudios de investigación

Los programas de actividad física intensa tienen efectos positivos en los logros académicos, además de mayor concentración, mejores calificaciones en pruebas de matemáticas, lectura y escritura, y menos casos de mal comportamiento. (Journal of School Health, 1997)

Sugerencias

Busque opciones para que su hijo haga actividad durante 60 minutos por día. Sugiérale pasear el paseo del vecino, ir a nadar, jugar al badminton o al fútbol, salir a caminar o andar en bicicleta en familia. Busque formas seguras y divertidas de salir a jugar durante todo el año. Visite los sitios de Internet Los niños en su casa, PBS Padres, y los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades para consultar más ideas y información en español.

4. Escribir todas las semanas

Estudios de investigación

La mayoría de los estudiantes de primer año que ingresan en instituciones postsecundarias para cursar un título de grado deben tomar clases de refuerzo de escritura más que clases de lectura. (NCES 2003)

Sugerencias

Pídale a su hijo que les escriba una carta por semana a sus abuelos, parientes o amigos. Anímelo para que escriba un diario de verano. Pídale que escriba la lista de las compras para la familia. Organice un proyecto del amigo invisible por carta para adultos y niños en su iglesia o comunidad.

5. Hacer una buena acción

Estudios de investigación

Los estudiantes aprenden más y “actúan” menos cuando participan en actividades que ayudan a su desarrollo socioemocional, como el servicio comunitario. (The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, 2004)

Sugerencias

Incentive a su hijo para que ayude a sus vecinos o amigos. Puede ofrecerse como voluntario de un grupo local o participar de un proyecto educativo de servicio. Sugiérale que reserve parte de su asignación para donarla. Miren juntos el sitio de Internet Big Help de Nickelodeon (en inglés) y el sitio de Parent Link Rhode Island (en español) para tener más ideas.

 

Five Free and Easy Tips for Summer Learning: Research Pointers and What You Can Do

 

By: Brenda McLaughlin and Jane Voorhees Sharp (2005)

Research about how much children lose ground over the summer is well documented. Harris Cooper of Duke University notes, “Overall, children experience an average summer learning loss across reading and mathematics of about one month” (1996).

The thing is, though, kids don’t have to lose over the summer. In fact, you can encourage your child to have a summer of fun and learning with these five free and easy things to do. Try them out!

1. Read Every Day

The Research

At the middle school level, reading four to five books over the summer has a positive impact on fall reading achievement comparable to attending summer school (Kim, 2004).

Suggestions

Take your kids to the library often and let them choose which books to check out. Listen to books on tape. Subscribe them to a magazine. Take turns reading to each other. Allow your kids to stay up a half hour later at night as long as they’re reading.

2. Use Math Every Day

The Research

The largest summer learning losses for all children occur in mathematical computation, an average of 2.6 months (Cooper, 1996).

Suggestions

Practice the multiplication tables by making each point in a basketball game worth 7 points (or 8 or 9). Ask your kids to make change at the drive-thru. Show your child how to go to Cool Math to play math games. Make up math word problems in the car and at the dinner table.

3. Get Outside and Play

The Research

Intense physical activity programs have positive effects on academic achievement, including increased concentration; improved mathematics, reading, and writing test scores; and reduced disruptive behavior (Journal of School Health 1997).

Suggestions

Find ways to ensure your child is active for 60 minutes each day. Have him or her walk the neighbor’s dog, go swimming, play badminton or soccer, take walks, or go for family bike rides. Look for safe, fun ways to play outside together year-round. Go to Family Corner Magazine and PBS Parents for more ideas.

4. Write Every Week

The Research

More freshmen entering degree-granting postsecondary institutions take remedial writing courses than take remedial reading courses (NCES 2003).

Suggestions

Ask your child to write a weekly letter to his or her grandparents, relatives, or friends. Encourage him to keep a summer journal. Have her write the family’s grocery list. Organize a secret pal writing project for adults and kids at your church or in your community.

5. Do a Good Deed

The Research

Students learn better and “act out” less when they engage in activities to aid in their social-emotional development, such as community service (The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning, 2004).

Suggestions

Encourage your child to help out neighbors or friends. He or she can volunteer with a local group or complete a service learning project. Suggest that your child set aside part of his allowance for charity. Look at Nickelodeon’s Big Help web site together for more ideas.

Adapted from a presentation by Brenda McLaughlin, Director of Research and Policy, Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University and Jane Voorhees Sharp, Office of Early Care and Education, New Jersey Department of Human Services.

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“Perfect American English”

Posted by bububooks on July 5, 2009

From The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan:

Cover of the first edition

Cover of the first edition

          “The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum.  This bird, boasted the market vendor, was once a duck that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose, and now look!—it is too beautiful to eat.

            Then the woman and the swan sailed across an ocean many thousands of li wide, stretching their necks toward America.  On her journey she cooed the swan: ‘In America I will have a daughter just like me.  But over there nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of her husband’s belch.  Over there nobody will look down on her, because I will make her speak only perfect American English.  And over there she will always be too full to swallow any sorrow!  She will know my meaning, because I will give her this swan—a creature that became more than what was hoped for.’

            But when she arrived in the new country, the immigration officials pulled her swan away from her, leaving the woman fluttering her arms and with only one swan feather for a memory.  And then she had to fill out so many forms she forgot why she had come and what she had left behind.

            Now the woman was old.  And she had a daughter who grew up speaking only English and swallowing more Coca-Cola than sorrow.  For a long time now the woman had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her, ‘This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions.’  And she waited, year after year, for the day she could tell her daughter this in perfect American English.”

 

This story moves me every time.  The woman gave her daughter a better life in America than she could in China, yet something was also lost.  When would the daughter be able to understand her mother’s intentions or even her mother’s story? 

Last week, I met up with a friend from undergrad.  She and I are both half Korean, half white.  We shared stories about our mothers’ backgrounds in Korea, how our parents met, the paths they traveled to get to the U.S., our mothers’ antics as well as when we finally began to understand some of those antics.  I enjoyed our conversation and, of course, learned more about myself and my mother in the process.      

I am proud to be an American.  I’m also proud to be an American of mixed heritage.  I enjoy my life here and know I could not have had it any better in Korea.  Sometimes, though, I wish I could speak to my mom’s family.  I wish I could better understand where my mom is coming from, her point of view, her intentions.  I know that will probably never happen.  And I know that my future children will lose a lot of their Korean heritage as well.  

But what we can salvage will be worth it.  Happy Fourth of July America!

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