And yet, they continue to love the Vietnamese books that we got for them when they were younger. Every once in a while, Mom reads the books in their original language; but more often, the girls want me to "read" them in English. Since I only know enough Vietnamese to get through about a third of the menu at a Banh Mi shop, this entails making shit up. It's kind of fun, but a lot more difficult than saying words that are already written while daydreaming about pie.
The following is a "translation" of one of their favorite Vietnamese books, which I call:
The Dirty King Guy
Since it's very bad luck to disagree with a worm, Jeremy's dad sent the boy out to fend for himself.)
But one day, he followed a mysterious trail of marzipan balls deep into the forest.
After hours of walking, he came upon a moonlit grove, where six other little boys, all of whom were also victims of tyrannical invertebrates, wept.
"What's wrong, you guys?" asked Jeremy.
"We hate eating mushrooms," they all cried. "We want turkey.")
It was a good thing that George Washington, dressed as a clown, was at that very moment giving Jeremy's father a magic turkey leg!)
"Son--I sure wish I could ask you to stay the night, but, you know, the worm..." His father said. Jeremy sighed. "But hey," said his father, "why don't you and your friends take some floppy hats when you go!"
The children shuffled back into the forest with their new hats. Jeremy was surprised to see a group of birds eating some delicious cashews.")
When they knocked on the door, Edith Bunker answered and said, "Oooh...I don't know if my husband wants any little boys in the castle.")
"Now, where did I put my collection of eyeballs?" he asked himself as he got ready for bed.
Jeremy tiptoed in his wooden shoes past the seven ugly princesses, asleep in their bed. He was still determined to find more turkey.)
After he had eaten the hillbilly, the Dirty King Guy floated above the earth, brandishing his knife at the heavens. "Raaaawwwwwrrrg," he said.)
Once his shoes were ready, Jeremy ran all the way to the castle of Father Time, crying, "Look at my purple shoes, Father Time! Look at them! I'm the happiest boy in the world!"
"Those smell bad," said Father Time. "Would you like a bite of this turkey leg?")
And they all lived happily ever-after.)