September books 2017

It would be so nice if I could connect all the books to the season, a topic we talk about a lot, to the month or some special days. Well, I can’t really. So the books are mostly random, though I really try my best to select them according to the girls’ interests. Not always with success.
What’s more, our reading time has decreased as kindergarten has started for E. and the mornings are really busy and in a rush most of the times. In the evenings we have little time together so I don’t read that much after dinner, we rather play a little more.

E. is getting bored with L.’s “baby books” so I read her books separately in bed as her bedtime story or in the  mornings when she cannot be woken up by anything else but a story. When I read for her little sister, E. brushes her teeth or watches Alphablocks on youtube.

So here are the books for a 21-month old toddler (1st list) and a 5 year old kindergartener (2nd list). (E.’s favouriteL.’s favouriteboth loved it)

List 1

  1. Kittens and Puppies (Touch-Feel-Hear)
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    Well, this touchy-feely noisy book is boring. The girls looked at it 2-3 times but weren’t interested at all, although they usually enjoy noisy books. I’ve put it in the “for sale” box.
  2. Wait and See by Sue Heap
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    A nice autumn board book with animals who wait with the bear under a tree. What are they waiting for? I don’t want to spoil the surprise. E. liked this book and joined us whenever I read it for L.
  3. Happy Birthday, Pookie by Sandra Boynton
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    A cute but a little lame board book about a birthday piggy. L. loved it so much she asked the book by the piggy’s name, Pookie, which sounds like passing wind in Hungarian and we always thought she needed to go to the potty to poo.
  4. Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton
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    A really nice bedtime book about pajamas, brushing teeth, and having fun throughout the bedtime routine.
  5. Hug by Jez Alborough
    51bF-k9INOLBoth of my girls liked this short classic about a little monkey who badly needs his Mommy’s hug. Mind you, there are no other words in the book but “hug” and you need to put the story into words. I really like these kind of books as you can say as much as you want; either going into small details or just run through it.
  6. Does the kangaroo have a mother, too by Eric Carl
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    A beautifully illustrated book by the famous Eric Carl about animals, young ones and adults. Look into it in this video. E. really loved what mother, father and baby animals are called (there’s a list at the end of the book). There were some surprises.
  7. Jungle Tales by Kay Widdowson
    9781743464335A brightly illustrated book about jungle animals. As for me I found it too bright. The kids did not enjoy it as much as the other books on this list. The fascinating thing is that the book pages are not rectangular but rather irregular in shapes. Each page has a hole so kids can peep through to the next page. I bought this book as L. find flamingos funny but not in this book.

List 2

  1. Zog by Julia Donaldson
    91mIHNOELQLWell I don’t think I need to popularise this book as it IS very popular and well-known both with children and adults. E. liked it although she’s not into dragons, but the storyline of Julia Donaldson’s books always fascinates her (just like me). Surprisingly, we read it only once.
  2. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
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    One of my all time favourite children books is E.’s favouite. I feel over the moon. As it is a chapterbook we didn’t read it at one sitting. I saw her “secretly” reading it at quiet time at the weekends. One evening when we had 3-4 more chapters to read she told me the story until the end. She had the idea to role play the story with plush toys and other props like in case of Room on the broom. The story in short: Three farmes decided to kill the fox that is killing their poultry. But Mr Fox is smarter than them.
  3. Great Day for Up by Dr. Seuss
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    This wasn’t the first time we’d read this book by Dr. Seus but I wanted L. to have a look as E. was about 2 when she got Great Day for Up and she loved it. Well, L. wasn’t that interested so I’ll save it for later. E. started basic reading with this book.
  4. Whales and Dolphins (Usborne Discovery)
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    This is a gorgeous book about whales and dolphins with real-life photos, all kinds of topics concerning cetaceans like echolocation, swimming long distances, birth-giving, connections with people, being endangered etc. The book includes some internet links where you can listen to whales’ singing for instance.
  5. The Magic Stone (Read it for yourself)
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    Originally I wanted E. to read this book on her own but she wanted me to read it. So be it. There’s a lot of repetition in the book that makes it easy for a beginner reader to read it and enjoy it at the same time. At the end we needed to talk about why the woman felt frustrated, why the tramp tricked the woman  and so on. E. was evidently puzzled by the story.

    Whoops… I left one really important book out. Harold and the purple crayon by Crockett Johnson. E. loooooved it and read it a lot all by herself.

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    If you’ve read something with you little one(s) recently that you think we would enjoy, please share it in the comment section. Check out the earlier posts about books we’ve been reading:
    2017June Book list
    2017July Book list
    2017August Book list

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Our new timeable for 2014

New year – new timetable. First I though we have been spending less time with English in 2014, but I was mistaken. We are spending more time with the second language than according to the previous year’s timetable.

Here is the new chart:

49 % English time, 51 % Hungarian time 

Of course we are flexible, this is just the plan. An illness, some unexpected visitors or a change in our helpers’ schedule can alter the timetable but this is more or less the main framework.

You can see two areas in the timetable (Friday late afternoons, and dinner-/bath time) which are neither clearly dedicated to English nor Hungarian, or, I can put it, they are the most uncertain periods of the week. The reason for this is D. has been working a lot and because of his long hours we never know if he is at home at these times or not. So when he can’t make it we use English. This is how we compensate for missing daddy.

Our native nanny, A., comes twice a week, a total of 6 hours per week.

A. and E. are reading Berry and Dolly

The timing of the Helen Doron sessions has been moved from the mornings to the afternoons and on a different day (Wednesday) but we still have one occasion per week. To be honest, we are not listening to the CDs as often as we used to. It is mainly because E. is a little bored of them (me too…) and she knows them all by heart, so what for? Still, she enjoys the lessons, especially painting (I’ll write more about it in another post) and moving water from a teapot or a dish to a cup. Playing with scrunchy balls -crumpled newspaper sheets with cello-tape around them- and pots are also among her favourite activities. We sometimes play with them here at home as well.

Fascinated by the baby paint

Even if it is a Grandma day (using Hungarian) at the end of the day I always try to fit in some English playtime, cooking time, shopping time or playground visit etc.

whisking egg yolk

The weekends are the trickiest. As I really want father and daughter to build a strong and warm relationship we (the three of us together or just the two of them) have quite a great number of programmes  in Hungarian environments. I find this more important than the language development.

Daddy time

However, at weekends I always try to spend some hours with English. These are not long, and not so interactive or highly communicative activities, like watching videos in English, or reading a story in English.

I’m looking into our bilingual future with confidence and great hope. 2014 will be even more successful than 2013 was.