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“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.”
Summary: An introduction to Spanish using everyday household words, like cat, dog, bed, house, mom/dad/brother/sister. Also includes poems and songs, as well as a CD with the songs on them. Cute illustrations show what is being said, and everything is translated into English. Learn basic concepts and nursery rhymes in Spanish with this book and CD.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read with boys 3 and 5
Young Reader Reaction: They liked it OK. They responded to the pictures fine, but had a weak connection with the Spanish words.
Adult Reader Reaction: Yes. The illustrations were cute. I liked that it came with a CD. Some of the dictation (words in the book are spoken in Spanish) was spoken rapidly, perhaps a little fast for early learners who are not familiar with the language. The songs are sung by a group of 1-2 adults and 2-3 children. I thought this was cute but a little distracting, as the pronunciation is not as clear in the group. The songs are actually mostly English songs, translated into Spanish, which makes for good tune recognition but a little awkward in fitting all the Spanish words into the rhythm. Overall, a good introduction to Spanish, although it will need to be read multiple times before the text begins to sink in. It was difficult for Mommy to read, as I do not know Spanish. Had I been more motivated to teach the Spanish words, I think I would have been able to make it more interesting. IT was still a little much for a 3 year old, but probably on target for an advanced 4/5 year old. 6-7 year olds, probably, would have done superb.
Pros: The pictures are cute and brightly colored, which will keep kids interested in the book. The CD is a definite must for using this text with a non-Spanish speaking adult-child reading.
Cons: This is probably better for ages 5 and up, or a really motivated 4 year old, whose parents are also motivated.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. For the motivated parent, this would be a good buy, since you will be reading it multiple times.
Educational Themes: In addition to learning Spanish words, the book promotes music (singing). Together the book and CD open the door to discussions regarding people who live in different parts of the world — both differences and similarities (e.g., we all have parents, we sleep in beds, we speak different languages.)
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book series, bilingual, Spanish