Dr. Seuss: an integral part of a child’s book collection.
An English speaking child’s book collection.
And there’s the rub (Shakespeare… also one of those authors whose works are difficult to translate, I imagine).
As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a literature nerd.
As in, I had no clue that the 3 Mile Island incident took place in my home state until Piet insisted and showed me on the Wikipedia (I’d insisted it happened in New York), but I accurately guessed what century the story Tristan and Isolde was written while we were watching the movie, simply from the knowledge I had from a course I’d taken in Arthurian literature in my sophomore year of college.
Children’s literature is a subject I hold near and dear to my heart. When I was studying for my masters in early education, the course on children’s literature quickly became my favorite and I found myself buying more and more books for my classrooms in the daycare, the more I learned about different authors and illustrators. One of my favorite assignments in my literature class was systematically analyzing the components of picture/story books and determining the strengths of each book and how it could be used to teach different lessons in a classroom.
If I could design entire curricula around works of children’s literature, I would.
So while Piet and my mothers are shopping for cute little outfits and Piet is stockpiling bathroom accessories (as well as a surprising little collection of clothing), I’ve been compiling a list of books that I consider essential for my child’s personal library.
Chances are it’ll remain mostly a list until we definitely decide if/when we’ll move to the U.S., for mobility sake, but still, I’m a children’s literature snob and I’m going to be picky with books.
At least in English.
In Dutch I’m sort of at a loss. I’ve only been in 2 daycares in Belgium and both of them had very few books. In fact, one of them didn’t have any books until I pleaded my case with my employers and got 100€ to spend on buying kids’ books in America during one of my trips home.
So suffice it to say, I know very little about children’s books here. I’ve seen a few books that I know from America, but there are plenty that I think are really great books for children that I haven’t seen, like Dr. Seuss.
Which makes plenty of sense considering so many of Dr. Seuss’s books are wordplay/rhyming books that simply don’t translate in other languages. so I’m sort of struggling on whether or not it would be a good idea to be reading English wordplay books to a child whose main language (aside from with me) will be, for the foreseeable future, Dutch.
I’ve always thought that reading, especially books that use rhyme, are crucial to a child’s language development, but if your reading in a secondary language, does that hurt the development of the primary language?
Are there any Dutch books out there that are similar to Dr. Seuss (that play with words and sounds and rhymes)?
I distinctly remember one of my favorite bed time books as a child being Fox in Socks, and how much the 3 year old class in my daycare liked me to read Green Eggs and Ham (especially when I got to the point where I could read it very fast). Both of these books are Dr. Seuss classics that I’d really like to have in a book collection for the baby, but now I’m not so sure if it’s a good idea.