Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A favorite poem - Das kleine Ich bin Ich

Das kleine Ich bin Ich is another of the very first books I purchased for NJ before starting Alphabet Garten. I picked it out solely from the look of the cover and it turned out to be a true gem. NJ was about 18 months when it arrived and we read it over and over. It was great for my German and I loved the rhythm of the poetry. A bit long, especially for kids who prefer shorter picture books but so much fun!
This book is a wonderful poem about an animal who doesn't know exactly what it is. In amusing verse, the story follows the little creature as it goes around asking other animals what it might be - it's got ears like a horse - maybe it's a foal? No, not a horse. Maybe it's a fish because it swims so well. No, not a fish either. Finally the creature comes to a happy realization that he's simply himself - "Ich bin ich"!

The rhyming in this book flows so well that it's a joy to listen to and read aloud. The imaginative illustrations alternate between black/white and color and I always discover something new to look at each time I read the book. Read the sample text below and see for yourself!

Alle Hunde, groß und klein,
bellen laut: "Was fällt dir ein?
Hast zwar Ohren wie ein Dackel,
auch sein Freuden-Schwanz-Gewackel.
Aber deine kleinen Beine
Sind nicht so schön krumm wie seine,
hast auch keine Hundeleine
-und bist überhaupt zu bunt
und kein Hund."

This book is great for kids ages 5 and up who have at least a basic understanding of German. When read aloud with expression, kids will enjoy the book and begin to understand the story even if they don't understand all the text.

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