Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Susie Jaramillo
Publishers: Encantos, Author Buzz
Date of Publication: April 26th, 2016
I love this idea for bilingual fun books for children and really hope there will be more like this! Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. As a teacher, I’ve encouraged my pupils to make what we call zig zag books and this is a professional example of one – with the same rhyme in English on one side and in Spanish on the other. The Spanish version is, apparently, a very well known nursery rhyme and the author has translated and made an English version of that rhyme. The illustrations are appealing and, whilst I was unable to actually use the lift the flap and turn the wheel interactive elements available on the published version because I was reading an e-version of the book, I was able to see what it was like by visiting http://www.canticosworld.com/books/lospollitos and watching the video about it there.
I would love to have delightful books like this available to share with children and think it will be very useful for parents and teachers hoping to inspire youngsters to be interested in having fun learning a second language. The video is also useful, demonstrating it in use and showing how it works for anyone who wants to see what a physical copy looks like. This is something I can imagine younger children being inspired by and having great fun with – definitely something I have no hesitation in recommending to parents, carers and teachers for them to share with young children and initiate a love of rhymes and languages in a fun and enjoyable way.
Thanks to the publishers for gifting me an ARC of this novel, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
LITTLE CHICKIES / LOS POLLITOS ($14.99, novelty board book) is based on “Los Pollitos Dicen” (Little Chickies Squeal), one of the most popular nursery rhymes in Spanish (as popular as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is in English). A wonderful homage to a mother and her kids, the nursery rhyme centers on adorable baby chicks hatching from their eggs and crying out that they’re hungry and their resourceful mama hen taking care of them.
Canticos has developed an innovative reversible design that offers the continuous original story in its native Spanish language one one side, and a new rhyming English language version on the other. A reader can read the story through one one side, get to the end, and flip the book to read the story in the second language. The English adaptation of the song is as catchy and lyrical as the Spanish version and sure to enchant new audiences not familiar with the original song. The book is also interactive, with lift-the-flap* and turn-the-wheel novelty features to encourage interaction and fine motor skills.
“As a Latina mom exposed to songs and traditions from both the US and my native Venezuela, I’ve had a hard time finding books, apps and videos of the nursery rhymes I grew up with,” says Brooklyn-based author-artist Susie Jaramillo. “In talking to people in both Latino and non-Latino communities, I realized this was missing from bookshelves and digital platforms everywhere.” Jaramillo recently left the advertising world to apply her brand building and storytelling skills to the children’s world. “In addition to promoting bilingual/multilingual learning, we hope the books, apps and videos also promote a sense of community and connect kids, especially Latino kids, to their culture.”
This book is available from a variety of sources including