While living in China, I read a fantastic book by Peter Hessler called, “River Town.” In the book, Hessler writes about his time as a Peace Corps volunteer living in a remote town in Fuling, China. At the time, I resonated with much of what I read, but now, seven years later, there is one part of the book that remains distinct in my memory.
In Chapter Three, Hessler describes going for a run to the summit of Raise the Flag Mountain and how at first, he was not able to read the signs, which he eventually figured out (and was disappointed to learn) were propaganda signs. So at first the signs looked something like this:
And then over time, he began to know the meaning of more of the symbols and was able to read more and more of the signs.
Peter’s story came to mind as Belén was showing me how she is now able to identify and write the words, “I”, “A”, “can”, “we” as demonstrated on a partial sheet of white card stock from her kindergarten class. I thought of Hessler’s progression as he mastered hanzi (simplified Chinese characters) and thought it might be fun to similarly capture Belén, and eventually, Eloise’s mastery of scribing the English language.
So, I perused the Interwebs to find an interesting opening paragraph to a kid-friendly book and settled on Raold Dahl’s, “The Witches.”
We sat down on the couch and Belén pointed out the words she recognizes as of today, October 18, 2014.
It will be fun to see the progression and check back in to see where she’s at on her Kindergarten Graduation. And by then, the build up to the rest of the story should be such that we’ll have a much anticipated addition to our bedtime story bookshelf.