Friday, December 09, 2011

Die Kleine Hexe

Back in November, I posted about Sandmännchen and the package Caroline mailed to his show. Guessing she wouldn't hear back, a few weeks ago I bought C a small thank you for her effort.

At the time, Caroline's German listening skills were quite decent. Give her a few days in Germany or Switzerland, and she'd become positively chatty. But she'd never been able to decipher any of our German kids books, and while I understood simple books I couldn't reliably translate text into speech. I decided to find a bilderbuch mit DVD to help us both along.

Die kleine Hexe feiert Weihnachten arrived to much fanfare one Friday not long ago, just in time for the weekend. Caroline set its DVD on repeat and read the story over and over again, working on figuring out letter to sound patterns. She decided (and I agreed) that German is much easier to learn to read than English. When she was satisfied we all sat down to hear her read the story of a young witch's Christmas celebration.

The Little Witch Celebrates Christmas opens in the middle of a snow storm on Christmas Eve. We meet our little witch and find her feeling frazzled. All she wants to do is prepare her house for the Christmas witch's annual visit. Instead a covey of other witches and their mediums drop by, warming their toes in front of the fire and getting in the way. In the end, of course, everyone gets organized and helps out, the little witch realizes how much fun she's had with her friends and the Christmas witch thanks her for her generous Christmas spirit.

(Short pause while I consider a daily reading, starting around the 15th.)

So yes, it's a story with a nice moral, but it's also super to listen to on DVD because the story's reader has a marvelous voice. The weekend of the great Die kleine Hexe read-a-thon, C and I vied with each other to see who could most closely copy her accent. (Neither of us conceded. I'm more dramatic, and she voices k sounds to perfection.)

My working theory with accents is that if I put my heart and theatrical leanings into them I'll at least surprise someone. Thanks to our impromptu lessons, I'm hoping that when we visit family in Switzerland this Christmas I can not only surprise my nephew but read to him too. And Caroline is planning another reading marathon, this time with her cousin and James as fellow members of the team.


marja-leena said...

Wow, I am so impressed with how much fun you have made learning a language! I'm going to forward this to daughter in the UK who homeschools two girls who are learning French (the Canadian second language), and may be starting German as well (their grandfather's language). No signs of interest in Finnish yet :-)

Roderick Robinson said...

Normally there's an element of jokery in my comments but not today. I can't help feeling C. is destined for great things as manifest by her degree of application. Putting the DVD player on Replay suggests a steely determination.

I imagine two of those milestone scribbles on the wall near a doorway in your residence. One of them looks like a ruler and merely records her increasing height. The other - far more thrilling - records intellectual progress, perhaps with a few targets thrown in to relate one scribble to the other: Madame Bovary (4 ft 11 in.), Grosse Fuge (5 ft 1 in.), Grosse Fuge - playing the cello part (5 ft 3. in.)

Julia said...

Hi Marja-leena, your daughter can order books like this from the bookdepository (they have a small sampling) or, which has a bunch. I haven't found exactly the same sort of combo in, but have seen audio books there. I'd be interested in hearing how it goes!

LdP - If you were to see C working on her writing you might reconsider ;-). As long as I can keep things fun she's game for most everything. Using videos to learn to read a language she already loves? Definitely fun for her.

Ellen said...

C has yet another fan - Selena. Every time she walks up and down the stairs she stops at your card and talks with Car and Jas. Surely C won't mind a bit more adoration? And she can work on various people's "k" sounds too!

elisa said...

oo, sounds great! (m-l's daughter over here ;) )
i shall look it up. she's got determination, that one, well done! x

Praha Select said...
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