Learning Chinese is as easy as one, two, three — or yi, er, san — in Grandfather Counts, this week’s HapaMama Summer Reading pick.
Grandfather Counts, written Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Ange Zhang (Lee and Low Books, 2000) is a story about a Hapa family.
The book begins as the family goes to the airport to pick up Gong Gong. It becomes quickly apparent that Gong Gong doesn’t speak English– and the kids don’t speak Mandarin:
Gong Gong kept talking to me in Chinese. When he realized I didn’t understand, he turned to Mom, a look of surprise on his face. I wanted to explain that Mom had tried to teach us Chinese. She had gotten us Chinese flash cards with words and pictures. Once she sent us to Chinese Sunday school, but we didn’t want to go back.
Eventually, the little girl in the story finds some common ground with Gong Gong– and she even manages to learn a little Mandarin– in this heartwarming picture book.
Have you found books to be a good way to get your kids familiar with another language? What other books do you recommend?
[Disclosure: A review copy of Grandfather Counts was provided by Lee and Low Books]