Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Jacqueline Jules
Illustrator: Kim Smith
Publisher: Picture Window Books – Capstone Young Readers
Published: January/February, 2015
Seven year old Sofia Martinez is the star of this children’s story book. The book actually contains three different short stories, each of which is divided into chapters and each telling about some aspect of her family life. Throughout the stories short key Spanish terms are also used and there is a Spanish Glossary to explain the meanings of these terms.
This early chapter book has beautiful, vivid illustrations which bring the characters and situations to life. In each story, Sofia tries to overcome a different problem in her own inimitable manner, often with entertaining, humorous results. In the first story, she wants to stand out from her two older sisters, because she feels nobody notices her. In the second she – disastrously – tries to make a piñata and in the third she needs to re-capture a mouse, Snowflake!
I like how the book is bilingual and the spanish vocabulary is colour highlighted, making it easy to spot. This colour coding will also help younger readers realise that they may well not understand the coloured text and why. This is a great way to introduce a different language in a non-threatening manner to children who have never seen or spoken it before but it will also be great for children who have grown up speaking both Spanish and English. I hope this will be a book from a series and have no hesitation in recommending it for children who are ready to read, relatively independently, early chapter books.
Teachers would probably find this book a great resource for stimulating PSHE discussions as well as introducing Spanish to their pupils.
Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is available from a variety of sources including