What’s in Mina’s Book Bag?

We just got back from our vacation in Turkey a few weeks ago, along with six kilos of Turkish books for Mina. Yes, and that is AFTER I left some THERE! I found a nice Turkish children’s website and made up a wish list. Everyone just bought from there and it made it easier of everybody. Last year, we all went to a very tiny tiny little bookshop to quickly find some books, not really knowing if they were any good. They had quite a nice selection of books that had been translated from English. I tried to find some that Mina had read at TKE so that she would instantly want to sit down and listen to the Turkish version. The most translated author was Julia Donaldson, an English writer. I first saw her Gruffalo book in the baby section as a board book. I had no idea that she had so many books out! We got Mina the Turkish version of The Gruffalo (Tostoroman) and Room on the Broom (Superge’de Yer Var Mi). Everyone got a kick out of the crazy storylines.

Upon returning home, I realized that the author also put out a story/song cd of The Gruffalo. Who knew the Gruffalo could sing? Will that become part of our collection–I haven’t decided yet.

I did return to that tiny tiny bookstore to see what they had and found a very cute little book and animal set. It is called Minutka: The Bilingual Dog.  It is written in English and Turkish (you can find it in many other languages as well) and it really helps a bilingual child feel OK with knowing two languages. Sometimes, kids might feel singled out for being different, but this book eases the child into feeling comfortable about their abilities.

While I was there, I asked the girl at the register if they had any books in Italian. They had German, French, and English books, so I thought I would just ask. The girl said no, and I left it at that. As I was paying, I looked up and there was The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, in Italian!! I had to get it for my friend who is having a baby this month. I was so excited to have found that because it is one of Mina’s favorite books. Even though I was very excited about my purchase, I exuded EXTREME self-control and didn’t spoil the surprise until we returned to Salt Lake. Of course, the day after arriving, I drove to Vincenza’s house to give her the present and said, “Please open before I burst and tell you what I found!”

Before I sign off of the blog, I want to make a small mention of one the best story development purchases I have made. I have purchased two of Eeboo’s story card sets. They are a deck of cards with just pictures all relating to a theme. We have the fairytale one and the circus set. They are wonderful. Not only does it promote storytelling, it also becomes a memory game. We pick four or five cards from the deck and lay them out in front of us and Mina tells me the story of what she sees. They worked well on the plane and also in Turkey. There is no language attached to the cards, so the stories can be told in any language. Mina loves them so much, she will pick them up on her own while I am cooking, spread out her cards and tell stories to her babies. She lines up her babies against the wall and begins her own storytime. They are just wonderful.  ~Elif

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