Bobby and Boo: Learn to Count in Chinese Too
by Kathy de Bruin
Xlibris AU

"Up in the tree,
Boo sees a hive!
The bees buzz around;
Bobby counts five."

When the sun comes up, Bobby and his cat, Boo, welcome a new, full day of fun filled with plentiful surprises and experiences. Bobby is a blue-eyed boy with spiked, blond hair. His curious sidekick is a green-eyed, grey-bodied cat with black stripes. Everywhere the pair goes, there’s an opportunity to learn something new with enjoyable surroundings and activities. Their (mis)adventures include finding a missing shoe, visiting with Oma and Opa, counting bugs and birds, and digging up dog bones. As Bobby and Boo explore, the author encourages the reader to learn and count not only in English but also in Chinese. By the day’s end, Bobby and Boo snuggle into bed with wondering thoughts of the exciting adventures tomorrow will bring.

Bruin writes a charming children’s story complete with a rhyming narrative that seamlessly incorporates number and language learning. The book is part of a series which acquaints her readers with the Chinese language, providing ample guidance from start to finish. In this volume, she couples Bobby and Boo’s explorations with learning Chinese numbers and characters, matching them with an English translation for pronunciation and helpfully including the appropriate tonal marks (referenced at the start of the book). The vibrant, computer-generated illustrations by Genesis Ray Pelobello are aesthetically pleasing and aid the story integrally. Overall, the book is entertaining and works as a subtle and constructive teaching tool that benefits both child and parent. Bruin’s story is nicely presented, and she effectively engages the reader. Altogether, her picture book is a great beginner story for a child’s first foray into learning a foreign language.

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