Wednesday, 10 October 2012

倒頭栽 Up Side Down

It’s been a while since I posted a story.  Good news, though. I’m working on my first book deal to turn the four seasons series into a set of talking books. I re-working the text and taking photos and I am quite excited about that. Learning photography has been the most rewarding experience so far. Emilyn and Chantal will often join me. Even though they need to be my subjects most of the time, what ends up happening is the two taking their own toy cameras and mimicking what I do. It’s all fun and produces creative photos at the end. What more can I ask for?!

Dao tou zai is a Taiwanese slang and it has a clever and mischievous connotation to it. This short poem is all about Chantal. She really is an up side down girl. That means she has more fun with her head down and her feet up. I often ask her why she likes to be up side down so much. She just gives me a grin and says: it’s fun 好玩 Hao Wan

This up side down game also reminds me of how we need to turn our head around once in a while and look at things from a reversed perspective. It really gives you a different perspective, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

種菜 Planting Vegetables

種菜 Planting Vegetables

Chinese with English Subtitles

I never consider myself as having a green thumb. I started with 10 strawberry plants about 5 years ago. When they all survived my care that first year and spawned numerous baby strawberry plants, that was enough to give me confidence to expand my garden, adding tomato plants, blue berry bushes, bok choy, brocoli, cucumber, and even corn just last year. Now we have a sizable garden and the harvest throughout Summer and Fall is just too delicious. 

Chinese with Pinyin

Our encounter with a snake was a true story. I completely freaked out when I saw the slithering creature. I'm not sure why but I had this phobia toward snakes ever since I was a kid. Emilyn was only 3 at the time and she sat there, watching the snake for a good half hour or so. She very much wanted to "pat" the snake and keep it as a pet. To this date, she still loves snakes. She had her chance of patting them at a zoo and an aquarium. I'll continue with my vegie garden and I won't mind a snake's visit once in a while. But just like the story line, snakes have to stay outdoors.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

你好,雪人先生 Hello, Mr. Snowman

Chinese with pinying

I’m not a fan of snow and cold but this year I really wished we can have some white magic for this story. Well, we had just enough snow and the snow lasted just long enough so we could make a snowman and have a snow ball fight.

Chinese with English Subtitles
We celebrated Chinese New Year this weekend, the official start of the Spring. Looking out the window, all the snow has melted away. But the memory of this winter – a day off from school and work, my surprise that Chantal fit into her older sister’s snow suit, a foot of snow on the driveway that became a toboggan lane, and the children’s attempt to eat snow – is sealed with this short poem. It also completes my Four Seasons series, one poem for each season.
Again, Emilyn read this poem without difficulty. Her reading is improving and she is also interested in Chinese books that she can read on her own. It’s not easy fitting all the languages into our daily routine. She reads French books assigned by her school teacher, and loves Roald Dahl’s series of The Big Friendly Giant in English.  I am in continuous search for Chinese books and story ideas. Well, this is a good problem to tackle.

Here is the poem. Happy reading!
你好, 雪人先生! nǐ hǎo,  xuě rén xiān shēng!
Hello, Mr. Snowman 
冬天到了,下雪了 dōng tiān dào le, xià xuě le
Winter is here, it is snowing
雪是白白的  xuě shì bái bái de
snow is white

從天空飄下來 cóng tiān kōng piāo xià lái
drifting down from the sky 
軟軟的 ruǎn ruǎn de
snow is soft

tíng zài shù shàng, cǎo dì shàng
landing on the trees, on the grass
也停在我的頭上、手上  yěi tíng zài wǒ de tóu shàng, shuǒ shàng
also landing on my head, my hands
看一看  kàn yī kàn
have a look
雪花亮晶晶  xuě huā liàng jīng jīng
snow flake is sparkling
拿一拿 ná yī ná
take a hold
雪花結成一個球  xuě huā jié chéng yī ge qiú
snow forms into a ball
打雪仗! dǎ xuě zhàng
snow ball fight!
滾一滾  gǔn yī gǔnr
roll it up
雪球變大  xuě qiú biàn dà
snow ball grows bigger
一個、兩個,疊起來  yī ge, liáng ge, dié qǐ lái
one, two, stack them up
加兩個石頭眼睛  jiā liáng ge shí tóu yǎn jīng
add two pebbles as eyes
兩個樹枝手臂 liáng ge shù zhī shǒu bài
two twigs as arms
別忘了肚子上的鈕扣 bié wàng le dù zi shàng de niǔ kòu
don’t forget the button on the belly
你好, 雪人先生! nǐ hǎo,  xuě rén xiān shēng!
hello, Mr. Snowman!