Every now and then, the kids and I play a word game with simple rules - we work our way through the alphabet, trying to think of a word that starts with the same letter in both Czech and English. For extra points, we add German too.
A is for alligator or aligátor, B is for banjo or bendžo, C is for circus or cirkus...
It's particularly fun to run with a theme - animals for five letters in a row, musical instruments for three. When we think of a new word pair we like, I write it down. For years I've wanted to illustrate a bilingual alphabet, and these lists inspire me each time we play.
Maybe one of these months I will finally create my abeceda. In the meantime though, I've just discovered a Richard Scarry word book* that is bound to take the game to new levels. I was tempted to do some secret cramming with it before our next round (both James and Caroline are way ahead on the Czech side of things), but then James did a little closet excavation, and the gig was up.
Like all Richard Scarry books, the illustrations are beautifully detailed and full of animals. I'm fond of the fins on the cars, James likes the old fashioned machinery. What makes Scarry's European Word Book (or Evropsky Slovnik) perfect for us, though, is that it is in English, German, French AND Czech.
It is, as Caroline would say, fantastic (fantastický, fantastisch, and of course, fantastique!)
* We found Evropsky Slovnik at Amadito and Friends, an international children's bookshop in Prague 5.
If I'm not working or hanging out with our 10 year old while a bouncy 5 year old dances around us, there's a good chance I'll be hammering away on our piano, reading a book or trying to sketch. I live in Prague, Czech Republic and hail from the U.S. South.