Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Things that make me happy: Dual language books

The last time I lived in a city where the public library system had books in my minority language was in college. After visiting my grandparents in their country my freshman year, it dawned on me that I
really did want a deeper connection with the language and culture there. I knew the local alphabet, but to say that I was literate was a stretch. On a lark, I investigated the collection of the main library,
and the branch library near me, and found books at many reading levels for me to stumble through. This was the first big city I'd lived in. I didn't know how luck I was. I've conducted similar searches in branch and main libraries near me in places I've lived since, and never found a collection of books or movies in my parent's first language.

Until now. His Town is small enough that there aren't branch libraries, just the main one. But the foreign language section of the children's room is phenomenal. Some of the dual language books we have already, which pleases Epsilon to no end. Apparently it is cool to own a book that can be found at the library. Other dual language books we own, the library has in a different language, which is also
fascinating to Epsilon. And sometimes, I find things like a mono-language version of Cinderella, in my minority language.

I was worried that moving to His Town, we would have to be self conscious about finding books with multi-colored characters. So far this hasn't been an issue since Epsilon has really only been interested in the section of the non-fiction shelf that focuses on vehicles. We go to the library, bring home a DVD of Thomas the Tank Engine, some books in the minority language, and one on helicopters. I'm good with this.

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