Clowns performed at our local place for children, the Comu Comu building.  And they called on me to help them perform on stage!!!!!!!!  How embarrassing!!!!!!  I should have at least worn cute clothes. (Yes, that is me in the middle!!!!)

Thinking about clowns makes me think about books.

Anyway, this is a post about the best way to read to one’s child.  This is based on the fact that I often listen to Japanese children’s books being read aloud and I sometimes don’t understand them very well.  Here are my pointers:

  • Talk about what you are going to read.  Let your child tell what he or she thinks the book will be about.
  • Read slowly.  S—-L—O—–W—–L—-Y  The reason I say this is because I feel that when I listen to books read in Japanese, it is often just way too fast for me.  I want a control button and slow it down a notch.  Rember that I have been here for twenty years learning the language, your three year old has been here only three years.  So you don’t want to sound like Blah Blah Blah Mommy.
  • Pretend you are on stage and are an actress.  Put some oomph into it.
  • It is okay to repeat a book.  The homeschooling company FiveInARow believes that you can and should read the same picture book five days in a row.  That’s a little much for me, but I definitely understand where they are coming from.  The first time I hear a Japanese story, I think it is about scribble scrabble, the second time I hear I realize it is about cherry blossoms, and the third time I hear I realize it is actually about the ephemeral world around us and the futility of life.    That’s all the same book!
  • Choose books that are high quality, yet at the same time choose books that you and your child want to read.  Don’t read a book just because it is on some list or just because it’s cheap.  Don’t choose books just because they have Anna and Elsa on them!  (Although if your baby is pleading, “Mommy, pwease buy me the Fwozen book.”  You have my permission to purchase it.  🙂
  • Get feedback from your child.  She is more than just a listener, she is an active participant!
  • I know you know all this, but it’s fun to talk about, isn’t it!  I always enjoy reading about books and thinking about books.

The reason why clowns remind me of books:



Clown is “piero” in Japanese!  ピエロ Not an English loanword!  From French!  (“pierrot”, I believe.)

In completely other news, my son has discovered the new summer movie “Pixels” and wants to watch it!