Thirteen children’s books written by Summit Country Day School Chinese teacher Bonnie Pang have been published by BabyArt Company in Shanghai, China.
Her books are called the Karl & Lena Adventure Series. Written in Chinese targeting children from kindergarten to grade four, the books include basic knowledge in history, arts, economics, geography, geology and biology.
Among the titles are Karl Became A Detective, Karl and His Dinosaur Friends, Karl and Lena Met A Thief in The Louvre, Karl and Lena's Adventure in the Earth's Core, Karl and Lena's Adventure on Mars, Karl Went to the Colosseum, Lena Turned Into a Mermaid and Lena Is Sick.
“I started working on children’s books about two years ago,” Mrs. Pang said. “BabyArt wants to offer the kids high-quality programs which combine content knowledge and communication skills together. So we came up with themes such as biology, arts, history, geography, literature, economics and so forth.”
The books are being used in some classrooms in China and are sold to parents who register for classes with BabyArt. Mrs. Pang often uses stories as an exercise in conversational Chinese, letting students role-play her characters and stories to practice their verbal skills in Mandarin. Her classes are characterized by active participation in language acquisition, with students on their feet playing games, using gestures, acting out stories and rhyming.
Mrs. Pang came to the United States 11 years ago. She has a bachelor’s degree in geochemistry from Nanjing University in Nanjing, China, a master’s degree in accounting from Bentley University in Waltham, Mass. and a foreign language education licensure from Miami University. Before coming to The Summit, she taught Chinese at Miami University and the University of Cincinnati. She lives in Mason with her husband, daughter and son.
Mrs. Pang was inspired to become a teacher because of her father, a well-known history professor at Nanjing University. “Through him, from an early age, I deeply understood that to teach is to touch a life forever,” she said.
“We are very fortunate to have Mrs. Pang as our Chinese teacher,” said Upper School Director John Thornburg. “Besides being a gifted native speaker, she brings dynamic and engaging instruction to her classroom. Her enthusiasm and creativity help provide success for our students and an enriching experience.”
The Summit begins World Language Program exposure at age 2. In kindergarten, parents choose French or Spanish for study. If the child so desires, study of one of those languages could continue for the next 13 years. Students are introduced to Latin in sixth grade and can continue to study Latin through the 12th grade. Students can begin study of Mandarin Chinese in the seventh grade and continue that through 12th grade.