Grade Level: 0-6 yrs old (read to)
Pages: 31
Sage Level: Level 2 (green series) book 2

This week, I’m try a new routine where Astroboy needs to read to me for about 5 minutes a day.  Still not sure if this is the right thing to do as I hate taking away the spontaneous reading of books, painstakingly spelling out zhuyin, he does every few days when he’s in the mood and I know making him read daily will take that away.

Though I have a lot of books in my library, it is really hard to find books that have really short sentences, and each sentence has at most 1-3 words he has to spell out, with the rest learned from Sagebooks.  Yesterday, I found Taro Gomi‘s book on my bookshelf.  It is almost perfect for Astroboy’s level.  He’s currently at Sagebooks Level 2 Book 2.

My friends taro goji

The book can be purchased at  It’s a bilingual book with English beneath the Chinese text.  It has zhuyin.  Every page is basically says, “我跟我的朋友 xx 學 yy” (I learned to yy from my friend xx.)  With our Sagebooks level, the first half of the book we just had to spell out 跟, 學, and maybe one more word.  But the animals and their actions get harder.

We’ve read through it twice so far.  Yesterday it was slow going even though the text is repetitive.  I had to promise to read the Astroboy the English text after he read the Chinese in order for him to go through it.  Today, I plopped down a 5 minute sand timer in front of him and told him he needs to read 5 minutes to himself every day.  Of course I just let him keep going after the timer stops.  A good reason not to get an alarm type of timer. The reason for this is mostly so he can work by himself because I’m trying to wean him off of the “Mama, do EVERYTHING with me!” refrain he’s got going recently.

Anyways, it was much smoother today.  He no longer re-sounded out 學 every time.  It’s so funky with Astroboy, I guess maybe because he doesn’t know enough characters yet.  But he will not remember that he just saw this character 1 minute ago.  I also had him stop before he read the text; to look at the picture and guess what the sentence will say as he’s not looking at pictures for clues either.

Taro Gomi’s books are always semi silly and great fun for the toddler and preschooler.  The best part is that though they don’t come with CDs, they often have bilingual text.  We read these books when Thumper and Astroboy were between 0-3.  It’s good that we can now pick them up again and use as reading exercise.  I don’t love the illustrations but if there were a list of to buy books, Taro Gomi would be on my list.  He’s kind of like Eric Carl.

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