The second book, Peeking Ducks, written by Krista Bell and illustrated by Sally, has lovely wash paintings with black ink outlines. Like other duck stories before it, here there are enterprising ducklings who do not always do what their parents suggest. Luckily they escape all the dangers upstream and learn from their adventure, just like Ping. But just in case you think you have enough duck picture book stories in your library for very young children, buy this one for the illustrations! Then use it too, to encourage children to make text-to-text connections . How is it like The Story of Ping; Borka: The Adventures of a Goose Without Feathers; and Make Way For Ducklings?
As well today is International Mother Language Day, a day when we should revel in our mother language and for many children that we teach that is not English. As Hillary Clinton said in her remarks about the Day,
"It is a time when we remember the power of language—to tell us where we came from, to share our story with others, to persuade, to educate, and to preserve our cultures. Let us take this opportunity to reaffirm our respect for the great diversity of languages and cultures we see around the world and to working together to promote mutual understanding and cooperation."
My library has a very small collection of picture books that are written in a language other than English, but they will be on display and this week children will be encouraged to borrow them. We have more books where there are two languages in the book, be it French and English as in Diane Goode's Mama books, or Spanish and English as in some of Pat Mora's books. As well there is a small collection of titles written in an Aboriginal language and English. Many authors who write in English or whose books are read in English have another language as their mother tongue. The children I teach are always fascinated to know that Marcus Pfister's books were written firstly in German, Dick Bruna's in Dutch and even Hans Christian Andersen's fairytales were in Danish.