A perfect book to foster empathy for those new to our country
by Angie Quantrell Quantrell Quips
My Two Blankets
By Irena Kobald
Illustrated by Freya Blackwood
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)
She used to be called Cartwheel. And then there was a war.
My Two Blankets is the story of a girl who moved to a new country where everything was new, different, and confusing. She loved her old blanket of the sounds and words she grew up with. It was warm and made her feel safe.
In her new country, the girl had nothing. Then she met a friend at a park. The girl befriended her and slowly gave her new words to learn and new experiences. As the girl learned to speak a new language, she realized she was creating a new blanket of sounds and words. By the end of the story, she was comfortable with both blankets.
My Two Blankets is a wonderful picture book. Readers who are new to this country or readers who want to learn how it feels to live in a completely different home with a strange language will find this book insightful and refreshing.
Do a Cartwheel and Listen to a New Language
1. The girl in this story was called Cartwheel by her auntie because she loved to do cartwheels. Do you have a nickname?
Go out on the grass or playground and do cartwheels. If you don’t know how, ask a friend to teach you.
2. To see how the girl felt when she first moved to a new country, listen to a different language. You could:
– listen to a radio station
– check out a book in a different language from the library (look for books that have listening CDs)
– watch a television show featuring actors speaking a different language
– ask an adult to help you find an online video of someone speaking or singing a different language
How did you feel when you couldn’t understand the words?
What would you do if you had to move to a place where no one spoke your language?
Can you think of a friend at school or in your neighborhood that speaks a language different from yours? Maybe he or she needs a friend!