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As a Mom living in a foreign country it's hard for me to get my kids to enjoy reading in English. Their English level is good, but Spanish is their first language. I find it's really hard to find any GOOD material for children like mine. I did come across a story on Lulu.com called Abuelos which really seemed to captivate my children's interest. Not only did the stories talk about children (American children in this incidence) being raised by a foreign mother, a Spanish mother, and the visit from the Spanish grandparents. It also seemed to captivate what it's like for children who are raised with not only two languages battling in their heads, but two different cultures as well. There were many stories by the same author and they are all written in three different perspectives, each child in the family tells his or her version of the same story. It's hard to explain, but it brought me back to my years studying Comparative Literature, but with stories my children could appreciate. Plus, they were written in Spanish and English, with both languages on the same page. My kids really scritize word for word the translation. I have been trying to find more stories like these ones, written with a comparative perspective as well as in both languages. I have combed through so many blogs about children's literature, but haven't seen anything like it. I myself am an avid reader, as is my husband, my kids have ample time, space and material for reading. But when you find something that REALLY works for them, it's frustrating not to be able to expand and take advantage of the moment.
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As a Mom who is watching her children become interested in reading, I can say This is a great article! All of the real-life examples she gave are true in my household! And watching my oldest read and get excited about it . . . THAT was the very best pay-off! I love watching my babies read and they love to read TO me! When I would wash the dishes or cook dinner, they would set a chair in the kitchen and read to me. When I would hang laundry out to dry, they would bring a book and read out loud to me there as well. And I would get interested in their books too! They loved to see me want to know more about the story they were reading or know that we had read the same books! It's all very exciting!