La Disha De Los Libros: Children's Books in Spanish

By Schon, Isabel | Multicultural Education, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

La Disha De Los Libros: Children's Books in Spanish


Schon, Isabel, Multicultural Education


Introduction

It is certainly easy to encourage Spanish-speaking children to read if we provide them with high-quality books in Spanish. From delightful books for the very young, to the lives of famous women, to satisfying fantasies and animated traditional tales, these recently published books will appeal to Spanish speakers (and those eager to learn Spanish):

For the Very Young

Bank, Kate. Un don del mar. (A Gift from the Sea). Illustrations: Georg Hallensleben. Translated by Christiane Reyes and Teresa Farran. Barcelona: Editorial Juventud, 2000. ISBN. 84-261-3143-3. 34 pages, $18.95 ages 5-8.

As a child picks up a stone on the beach, an omniscient narrator explains that the stone came from a volcano thousands of years ago. Later it moved until it became a mountain; subsequently a glacier, a cavern, an ancient city, a wheat field, and finally it is returned to the beach where the boy can feel the wonderful gift from the sea. Doublepage spreads with colorful impressionistic renditions provide vivid images of the history of humankind. Originally published by Gallimard Jeunesse, Paris, this simple Spanish rendition will be understood even by the very young.

Cooper, Helen. Historias de juguetes. (Toy Tales). Illustrations: the author. Translated by Rosa Roig. Barcelona: Editorial Juventud, 1999. ISBN: 84-261-3127-1. 80 pages, $15.95, ages 5-8.

Tim's favorite toys are a teddy bear, a stuffed frog, a duck on wheels, and a piggy bank. Even though each of them suffers a mishap-bear ends up in the washing machine, frog loses all his stuffing, duck falls down the stairs and, pig is knocked off the shelf-Tim still loves them. The colorful double-spreads and the rhythmic Spanish rendition remind youngsters of their own feelings about their own broken toys.

Cousins, Lucy. Maisy y sus amigos. (Maisy and Her Friends). Translated by Xavier Borras Calvo. Barcelona:. Editorial Serres, 1999. ISBN: 84-95040-02-6. 16 pages, $13.95, ages 3-5.

This book is like the previous 15 titles about Maisy, a cute mouse, who here invites the very young to pull-the-tabs and lift-theflaps as she introduces her animal friends. Colorful watercolors and a most simple text describe a dolphin in the water, flying insects, a dressed-up ostrich, a hidden rabbit, and other playful animals. Originally published by Walker Books, London, this series continues the fim.

Gieseler, Corinna, and Markus Niesen. iMuy bien, Dudu! (Well Done, Dudi!). Illustrations: Annette Swoboda. Translated by Christiane Reyes and Teresa Farran. Barcelona: Editorial Juventud, 2000.

ISBN: 84-261-3141-7. 30 pages, $15.95, ages 4- 7.

Dudu, a child duck, is not eager to spend a day at the public swimming pool with his family: His tummy hurts, he is afraid of water, and he doesn't like crowds. When things can't get any worse, a dragonfly pursues him and he mistakenly runs up the diving board. After he flies down and is admired by all, no one dares call him a sissy again. Originally published by Fisher Taschenbuch, Frankfurt, this sensitive Spanish rendition with vibrant, color doublepage illustrations will appeal to Spanishspeaking youngsters as they remember their fears and apprehensions.

McKee, David. El cochinito de Carlota. (Charlotte's Piggy Bank). Translated by Diana Luz Sanchez. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economics, 1999. ISBN: 968-16-6021-8.

24 pages, $12.99, ages 5-8.

McKee's fresh and detailed, doublepaged color illustrations provide a whimsical tone to Carlota's initial experiences with a piggy bank. As she thinks about possible uses for her savings, she discovers numerous ways to earn money such as helping mama at home, assisting her neighbors, and selling old toys. Some children may be confused when the piggy bank flies out the window with Carlota's money as it proclaims: "La vida puede ser muy dificil" (Life can be difficult), but life goes on.

Newman, Marjorie. …

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