Let me start this first book review post with a story..
Before we went back to Seattle from our Vietnam visit earlier this year, my husband and I went to Đinh Tị Bookstore - one of the most well-known Children bookstores in Vietnam - and bought two big boxes of books, enough to fit three quarters of a medium suitcase. They are Vietnamese children books, story books translated from other languages, bilingual books, flip-a-flap books, scented books, books with audio, touch-and-feel books, and more! I was amazed how much variety they offer now in terms of interactive children's books, much more than when I was growing up.
We got a lot of books that we ended up having to leave some stuff behind to make room and weight for the books in our luggage. But we were very happy we did so, because that was around the time my then one-year-old son Leo started showing more interest in reading. He would get a book and give it to us to read, giggle sometimes when seeing characters he liked, point at animals, or copy us and press the audio button or rub his finger on the scented stamps and smell the fruit or flower fragrance from a page.
(Picture of me reading to Leo a sách chiếu bóng - bedtime shadow book - that we got from Vietnam)
It was good that we got him Vietnamese books from Vietnam, because it’s hard to find Vietnamese books here in the US, or at least that was what I thought back then!
It’s been 8 months since we came back here, and Leo has been gradually growing out of some of the books. He still likes them if we rotate them every week, but I wanted to find more Vietnamese books for him here. There are not as many Vietnamese children's books here as in Vietnam obviously, but there are some! And there are people who are making more bilingual Vietnamese books.
So, I decided to have this section of book review in my blog, to share, review and recommend bilingual Vietnamese books for children that we found, read and liked.
This is my first book review article on the blog and I want to share about this lovely nursery book I got on Amazon. It is called “10 Khúc Đồng Dao- Vietnamese Nursery Rhymes” by Tinywrist.
To be honest, before I found this book, I never thought about introducing Leo to Vietnamese nursery rhymes. Not because I don’t know them, but because my memories about these poems have faded so much I haven’t thought about or heard them for a long long time. When I got the book and started reading it to Leo, I was reminded of forgotten fun memories I had as a kid. Beautiful memories. Since we got this book, Leo’s grandmas have been reading more to him and he loves it.
The book consists of 10 poems in both Vietnamese and English, with lively illustrations for each one of them. All of those nursery rhymes were very popular as far as I can remember.
Leo’s favorite rhyme is “Kéo cưa lừa xẻ”, and mine is “rồng rắn lên mây”. When I was small, me and the neighbor kids used to play Rồng Rắn Lên Mây all the time. Kids lining up, with the persons behind holding on to the persons on the front by grabbing their shirts. The line then moves around, which makes it it look like a snake (or a dragon) moving (hence the name “rồng rắn”, rồng means dragon, rắn means snake). One of the kids plays the role of the doctor’s housekeeper who tries to catch the last person of the line… It’s a whole fun conversation based game, starting with the nursery rhyme you can read in the book. If you’re interested in learning more about all the Vietnamese nursery rhymes, let me know in the comment! Maybe I will write more posts explaining some Vietnamese nursery rhymes if there’s enough request. Let me know what you think!
Anyways, I love this book! It feels like a must to introduce kids to Vietnamese nursery rhymes if you plan to teach them the language. It’s a beautiful part of the language and culture that’s been forgotten and replaced by all the Baby Sharks, the video games and other entertainments nowadays.
Want me to do more book reviews? Let me know in the comment or send me an email to info@hellotochao and tell me which books you want my opinion on. Or if you have any suggestions for what I should write next in my blog, let me know too!