Thanks in advance for all your effort! I really appreciate it, even if you don’t end up finding those books.
Let me first answer the question that’s been bugging you. I’m teaching him Mandarin because that’s my mother tongue. My son’s primary language is Cantonese and his secondary language is Mandarin. He cannot function in English despite having spent two years in an English Montessori school. His mom speaks Cantonese 100% of the time and I speak Mandarin to him 75% of the time, the other 25% being Cantonese. He gets pretty close to 0% English in the home although bedtime stories are now mostly English.
Because of his lack of ability in English, I don’t want to skew his pronounciation in either language by using a single alphabet to represent two languages. Interestingly enough, as I signed him up for a Mandarin summer camp today, the person doing the registration there said that “research” (whatever research that is) shows that bpfm is better for teaching Chinese writing if starting at a young age. Given that my son is starting with a blank canvas, I think using two distinct alphabets will be less confusing. Once he has a good grasp of bpmf and English, learning HYPY will be quite easy. Certainly, this does not mean one system is better than the other, just that in this instance, I think bpmf is more suitable for him. Personally, I type using bpmf and I find it faster than HYPY as it takes less keystrokes on average.
French, as far as I know, isn’t taught phonetically in school. And I’m not even remotely qualified to teach him myself. I think the strategy at school is to get the kids to be conversationally comfortable with French before introducing written words. But since my son has yet to be proficient in English, he has been barred from French class.
My main focus isn’t to teach him to speak Mandarin per se, but rather to teach him to read in Chinese. Once he has mastered reading a certain passage in Mandarin, it’s often quite trivial for him to learn the Cantonese pronounciation as he’s more comfortable in that language.
On a side note, I’ve gone through the Taiwan’s Education Ministry’s web site and came across a document which describes the thinking that goes behind the “white/red flowers blooming”. In fact, they use that very example. But I didn’t read the whole article…too boring. However, according to this web site (nani.com.tw/big5/content/200 … nt_518.htm), the 的 is omitted in 小花一天一天的開了. I think if a “de5” is needed before the 開, it should be 地 and not 的. But what do I know, I only have a grade 3 education.