We received many requests from teachers and children in Vietnam and Thailand for a video reading of Pirate Kim in English. And Marcus agreed to do this to help kids learn English as a second – or third – language in their schools and homes.
Marcus reads our updated Pirate Kim English-Thai edition (reflecting awesome feedback received from readers of our first English-Vietnamese edition).
Marcus, a Sydneysider, produced his reading during COVID school holidays – with sound effects! (And he is a nephew of one of the authors, Ms Tran)
UPDATE: Watch Pirate Kim being read by Lien in Vietnamese here.
Our guest blog is a review by Ms Huong Nguyen about our Pirate Kim book (and in Vietnamese here: Bài tiếng Việt).
The journey of Pirate Kim
Pirate Kim is a culmination of a spirit of generosity and creativity.
The creative team – Ms Thu-Trang Maria Tran (Australia), Ms Annie Duncan (Australia), Ms Trinh-Thuc Ha (Vietnam), and Mr Garry Godfrey (Australia) – donated their time, and supporters from around the world made contributions so that 500 books could be made freely available to children in disadvantaged schools and water safety clubs in Vietnam.
Pirate Kim is the first initiative of Our Words Our Worlds (O WOW!) Books founded to answer the call to action of the #weneeddiversebooks movement. It is important for children to see themselves in the books they read.
Books are mirrors and windows to the worlds our kids live in.
Only with a short story, Pirate Kim provides a lot for children and their parents. Firstly, Pirate Kim provides useful tips for children to build water safety smarts and have confidence around water.
In addition, the book is published with the aim at emphasizing the importance of reading and sharing stories with children from birth. By spending 5 minutes reading 1 book a day, parents can help children learn sounds, words, language, and develop literacy skills. Answering children’s questions about the stories and pictures helps them make sense of the world.
In recent years, learning foreign languages has become popular in Vietnam and around the world. Pirate Kim is also designed to meet the needs of children who are learning English as second language. The core team decided to write the book “Pirate Kim” to bust the myths of bilingualism and to address the confusion about the advantages and disadvantages of bilingual education in general. A bilingual book can be a useful tool to support children to be exposed to another language (e.g. English). Your child won’t get confused or progress slower with their main language. Bilingual children develop language at the same rate as children who learn one language only. Bilingual children who are exposed to two different written languages (e.g. Chinese or Vietnamese and English) can still read and write at high levels. They might also have a better understanding of the relationship between how words look and sound than their peers who know one language only. Also, teaching English through stories is one of the interesting ways to help children learn English in a natural manner akin to them learning their mother tongue.
In addition to the useful lessons, Pirate Kim also provides interesting exercises to help children review what they have learnt.
With eye-catching illustrations, lively dialogue, simple language, Pirate Kim is definitely be a useful book to help children learn English and water safety lessons.
Please help us by nominating a disadvantaged school to receive our books here.
We are also continuing to raise funds to distribute Pirate Kim books to more disadvantaged schools. Make a donation and get a ‘thank you’ Pirate Kim book here.
That is, regrettably, the amount of children lost to drowning in the last 10 years in Vietnam, and the reason behind my involvement with the bi-lingual books project.
Why be of one voice, when we can weave a rich tapestry of language that transcends cultures and borders?
Children are the future, and to gift them, with a love of discovery, is the ultimate joy. Be it music, art, culture, an inquisitive nature, or language; we as a society, have an innate ability, and responsibilty, to unleash their titanic potential, and live life to their full potential.
Every child is a gift to the world!
My passion, to develop in children, not sign language, but verbal communication on a bi-lingual level, is the cornerstone of our project.
In all our books, we deliver subliminal water safety messages, that we can only hope, will make an impact on the disastrous death toll of children lost to drowning in Vietnam.
It will bring immense joy to all of us invested in this project, if one life is spared.
Our magical wish, for that is the world our children live in, is to entertain, tickle their funnybone, and let that beautiful laughter, that only a child has, ring out.
We hope your children enjoy these bed time stories, and treasure them for years to come.
The team welcomes your ideas, suggestions, and yes your hidden stories, that you want to paint our pages with.