Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A Mi Manera
I'm happy to welcome Leanna from All Done Monkey as today's Guest Blogger!
At the library recently, my son and I chanced upon a bilingual book that does a great job of helping kids deal with being different from their friends. My Way, A mi manera by Lynn Reiser uses a friendship between two very different girls to talk about how people can get along even though each may do things her own way.
While all kids feel different at one time or another, those whose families straddle multiple cultures may feel particularly out of step with their classmates.
Lynn Reiser's two wonderful heroines each like to do things her own way, "a mi manera." From what they wear, to how they do their art, to how they take their naps, these girls do everything the opposite.
The differences between them are accentuated by their use of different languages. The story bounces back and forth between English and Spanish, as each page shows parallel texts from the girls. ("This is how I greet my friends: 'Hello, Margarita!' / Así es como saludo a mis amigos: 'Hola, Margaret!'")
Yet not only do the girls get along, they show that sometimes friendship means doing things "my way," sometimes "your way," and sometimes "both ways" (the pictures for this section are the most fun, with each girl dressed in a mix of the two outfits, eating a mix of the two lunches, etc.), but the most important thing is to do them together.
Bicultural kids may sometimes feel like the clothes they wear, the foods they eat, and the language they speak are different from other kids, but this book helps them learn that that's okay. And - importantly - that it's also okay if they sometimes want to try to do things the way their classmates do them. True friendship isn't based on such superficial things.
My son and I love this bilingual book and can't wait to read others from Reiser's Margaret/Margarita series.
What books are you reading with your kids these days?
Leanna is a stay at home mother to a sweet, funny, rambunctious four year old boy and his adorable, smiley baby brother. She draws inspiration from the Writings of the Bahá'í Faith and tries to raise her Monkeys in a fun, spiritual, loving environment. She and her husband, who is from Costa Rica, are raising their boys to be bilingual and bicultural but more importantly to be "world citizens." All Done Monkey is dedicated to sharing this journey with you!
In addition to her blog All Done Monkey, Leanna is the co-founder of Bahá'í Mom Blogs and founder of Multicultural Kid Blogs.