The main reason for joining the Book Swap, was of course to get a new lovely book, that I may not have chosen myself. The secondary reason however, was that I knew it was quite likely that I would get a German book – Zoe pairs families from different countries and I know I am one of the fewer “German Speakers”, whilst there are English speak Ex-pats abroad hoping for more UK books. German books form a core “part” of my approach to raising children bilingually – they help both the children AND me to develop our vocabulary, as well as improve both our grammar. Also, I feel that by reading books in an “original” language, I am more likely to help bring local traditions and concepts to my children – e.g. St Nikolaus and St Martin do not really exist here in the UK. Books are a wonderful way to introduce and help explain traditions.
I digress. First to the book we shared:
It was very hard to choose a book to send. We love all our books! And yet, I know that book choices are very personal. As the emphasis of the swap was on “Pictures”, I decided to send “My Heart is like a Zoo”. I choose it, because both Red Ted and I enjoyed the simplicity of the “designed” animals – all made from hearts. A sweet, “loving” book, which is all about the images and not the text! Also, it gives great scope for crafting and using your imagination – if you can make so many animals out of hearts, what can you create out of other shapes?!
Here is a post by the receiving family Living in the Land of Chocolate and what they thought of it!
In return, we got TWO books:
Schellen Ursuli is a gorgeously traditional Swiss children’s story (apparently ALL Swiss children know this book and all have “Ursuli Bells” on their school backpacks). I adore books from around the world, especally if they are the “top ones” – something MUST be good about a book if it has been a favourite with children for years. This one is a story about a bell festival – each child is given a bell and they go round the square in order of the bell sizes… if you come too late, you end up with the smallest – which is what happened to Ursuli! Ursuli is very unhappy about this and sulks big time! Until he remembers a bell in a little hut up the mountain – it is an enormous bell like no one has seen before and he sets off to get it…. When he doesn’t return home that night, it causes some commotion in the village, but all ends well… and Ursuli, well, Ursuli gets to go at the FRONT of the parade with his big bell! We loved the rhyme of the book (I would be curious to see what the English version is like) as well as the “traditional” drawings – they really reminded me of my childhood! Such a fantastic gift to received!
We also received Conni Hat Geburtstag (by L Schneider) – mini picture books that Swiss children often get in party bags. I love that this one is a “Birthday book”, as it was Pip Squeak’s 1st Birthday the day it arrived! Fabulous.