Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Richard Scarry's European Word Book

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.

6 comments:

Monica said...

oh i would love a spanish one for my girl. i have to see what others he does. we scarry fans too.

Roderick Robinson said...

Time to shave. I've got things to do away from the computer. But Richard Scarry, gotta make time for him. And for Lowly Worm with his Tyrolean tweed hat. And Rudolph in his Pickelhaube, determinedly flying his plane as if it were an untrustworthy horse - ending with the caption that caused my brother (reading RS to my daughters) to roar with laughter: Rudolph cracks up!

Covers torn free, spines disintegrated - couldn't possibly throw them away. RS, up there with James Joyce, and better illusrated too.

meredith said...

This brings back memories. I've always loved Richard Scarry's books.

Julia said...

We have many Richard Scarry books, but I'd never seen this one in stores before I found it a few weeks ago. Apparently it was first printed in 1963 in just French, German and English, and then a Czech version came out in 1991. Our edition was just reprinted last year.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Plus: Richard Scarry! I always adored all the details in his books.

Landseers said...

Bought my copy in 1991, and have treasure it ever since :) If only they would bring back Albatros on Narodni Trida.