Bosley, the Language Bear

Interview: What life lessons can be learned from Bosley Sees the World?

My Journey into Bilingual Parenting

Tim and the boysI started the series of Bosley books before we had children.  Knowing that we would be starting a family in the coming years I wanted to be ready and I used that dream of a family as inspiration to write the first book.  I have always been an advocate for language learning and have always tried to do my diligence to speak the native language when visiting another country.   (Even worked on my Scottish accent when my wife and I went there, but probably just sounded like a buffoon!)

I knew that second language learning would be very important to me as we took our first steps into parenthood.  I loved learning French from my mother as a child, it always made me feel proud that I knew something the other kids didn’t, like secret code words.  And martial arts has always fostered my interest in Asian culture and language, so when the opportunity arose to take a trip to Japan during high school I did everything I could to make that happen (with a little help from my parents).  I made some life-long friends that I still communicate with there today and have worked very hard to keep up a good working knowledge of Japanese.  I’m not fluent by any means, but I can “get by”.  Japanese resonates with the workings of my own engineering brain in that it is very structured, and rule based.  There is virtually no ambiguity in the language as compared to others (including English) that have silent letters, and rules seemingly made up on the fly.  So I like the language and am excited to have my children learn it with me.  (Selfishly, I really just want more people to practice Japanese with!)

I’ve been publishing articles on this website for years that have to do with early childhood development, second language learning for children, and tips for bilingual parenting, etc.  But with the new website upgrade, and the new additions to my family, I think it is time to get a bit more personal and start dispelling some of my own experiences as I raise these two wonderful children.  I will be teaching them as much as possible, but undoubtedly learning just as much from them as they learn from me.

I hope you will join me on this journey and I hope you can enjoy the articles and get something out of them.  I would love to have some discussions spark up in the comment section, so please leave your thoughts, comments and suggestions below this article.  I would love to hear about the linguistic goals you have for your family.

My Inspiration For Writing “Bosley Goes to the Beach”

Coast of Maine

After publishing “Bosley Sees the World”, I got so much good feedback on it that I knew I had to publish another book.  People wanted more of Bosley!

My wife and I were in the process of building a new house in Maine, when all of a sudden we got a phone call saying that the builder had put the foundation in the wrong place!!  This would set us back about 4 months which meant we needed to find a temporary place to live. As luck would have it, we stumbled upon an amazing opportunity to live in a gorgeous rental house right on the ocean on the coast of Maine.  This was ideal for us, not only because it was a beautiful place to spend the winter, but also because my wife and I had discovered we were pregnant with twins and she would eventually have to spend the last few months of her pregnancy on bed-rest, and trust me, this was a great place to spend your day laying on the couch looking out the window.  We would watch the lobster men come and go, watch hundreds of birds play and catch fish, and of course, relax and take inspiration watching the tides roll in and out.

This was the place where “Bosley goes to the Beach” came to be.  The ocean has always been a special place for my wife and I, and I was so excited to see the story and illustrations come together like they did.  Of course, it was also a great inspiration and motivation to know that when the book was finished my wife and I would no longer be a family of two, but a family of four and that we would have two new incredible people to share the book with.  It’s funny to think that I didn’t even know what our children would look like when I was writing the book and now I’ve been able to read it to them.  And even though they’re just babies, they will often sit quietly and listen to the whole story while they gaze with their inquisitive baby eyes into the colorful pictures, all the while continually inspiring me to write more Bosley stories.