My First Bilingual Book: A Day / Um Dia, by Milet Publishing
It is fascinating to read this book because the intense simplicity of what is said tends to make all the more obvious the assumptions that are being made by the people who wrote the book. For example, this particular book is designed to give a chronological tale as to what goes on in the course of an average day. But the day that is discussed makes a lot of assumptions on the part of the person reading the book. It is assumed, for example, that they are students of public school (more than likely), and that they take a bath in the evening rather than taking a shower in the morning. A look at the average day of this reader, for example, would be highly different: “Wake up, go to the bathroom, read book, take a shower, make bed, go to work, eat lunch, write blog, eat dinner, read more books, go to bed” would be applicable to me but not necessarily to other people. Some of the activities mentioned here do not happen at all on the average day and some happen in very different order, and all of that is something that is worthy of thinking about and reflecting on, even when one is dealing with children’s literature.
Like the other books in this series, this volume is a short and simple book that consists of a single phrase attached with a picture in warm colors that features a diverse group of children to appeal, one presumes, to as diverse a reading audience as possible. So it is that we go through what the authors conceive of a normal weekday for the children: waking up, making one’s bed, washing one’s face, brushing one’s teeth, getting dressed, eating breakfast, cleaning up, going to school, eating lunch, doing one’s homework, playing with friends, riding one’s bike, reading a book (no dinner though?), and going to sleep. To be sure, this could have included more activities. There are some ways, like “going to school” that could be far different experiences depending on whether the reader is home-schooled or rides on the school bus to public school or is driven by one’s parents to a private school, or even, in this age of Coronavirus, turns on a tablet or computer to watch classes in Zoom. It is striking to ponder just how different the average daily experience is for children in 2020 with lockdowns than it was when this book was written, and it is similarly striking to ponder the differences that may exist in the future.