A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Perfect Book for Making a Splash!

One of my favorite things about being a children's librarian is when I get a batch of brand new books that will be perfect to use in bilingual storytime. Today, just such a book arrived - I Know the River Loves Me / Yo sé que el río me ama by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

Maya Christina Gonzalez is both the author and illustrator of this book, as she also was for My Colors, My World / Mis colores, mi mundo.  This title features the same young Maya exploring the beauty of the world around her.  Like Maya, the river is low and quiet in the winter, and full and loud in the summer.  The river jumps and sings when she sees Maya, runs to her side to cool her down, and is always there calling to her as she gets close.  Maya returns her love to the river by being sure to "only leave behind what already belongs to her."

In addition to the beautiful bilingual text which flows like a river and is the perfect length for bilingual storytime, Maya Christina Gonzalez' illustrations are striking.  I must admit, in addition to Yuyi Morales, Gonzalez is one of my favorite illustrators.  Her style in this book is unique, with paisley-esque blossoms and leaves on the banks of the cool, flowing water.

An author's note at the end explains that the Yuba River in California is an important inspiration for this story.  It is published by Children's Book Press, which publishes a variety of excellent books that bring more diversity into the world of children's literature.

This year, our summer reading theme is "Make a Splash - Read!"  I cannot wait to use this book in a storytime celebrating water and kicking off summer reading, pairing it up with ¡Salpicar! / Splash! by Flora McDonnell.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Celebrating Christmas! / ¡Celebrando la Navidad! Bilingual and Spanish picture books for celebrating the winter holiday season

Storytime is taking a break at the Village branch library for the month of December. As such, there is no winter holiday storytime. However, I still find myself thinking about titles that would be great for such a program! In the spirit of sharing, here is a list of various titles that may be of interest. Some are secular, some religious; some are in Spanish or bilingual, and others are in English with Latino characters and themes of Latino holiday celebrations.  Some of these titles are short enough to hold the attention of young pre-readers, while others would be better for a school age audience and independent readers.  The titles are linked to the OCLC WorldCat, so you can easily see what is available at your local library!


A piñata in a pine tree : a Latino twelve days of Christmas by Pat Mora
Summary from OCLC:
"In this adaptation of the folk song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas,' friends exchange such gifts as a piñata and 'cuatro luminarias.' Includes pronunciation and glossary of Spanish words and a description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries."

La Nochebuena south of the border by James Rice
Summary from OCLC:
"In this bilingual version of 'The Night before Christmas,' Santa has become Papá Noel and his reindeer have been replaced with eight burros pulling a cart."

The Santero's Miracle: A Bilingual Story by Rudolfo Anaya
Summary from OCLC:
"In this bilingual story of faith, Don Jacobo has a dream that, in the end, is a reminder that miracles do happen."
Also by Rudolfo Anaya is,  Farolitos for Abuelo
Summary from OCLC:
"When Luz's beloved grandfather dies, she places luminaria around his grave on Christmas Eve as a way of remembering him."

Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada!  Let's Celebrate Christmas by Virginia L. Kroll
Summary from OCLC:
"A little girl guides the reader through each step of a posada, a Hispanic holiday tradition celebrated on the nine nights before Christmas."

Summary from OCLC:  "Because he has misbehaved, four-year-old Federico is afraid the three kings will not bring him the toy horse he asked them for and, unable to sleep, he goes outside to await their arrival."

 The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola
Summary from OCLC:
"At the annual celebration of Las Posadas in old Santa Fe, the husband and wife slated to play Mary and Joseph are delayed by car trouble, but a mysterious couple seems perfect for the part."

N is for Navidad by Susan Middleton Elya 
Summary from OCLC:
"A rhyming book that outlines the preparations for and celebration of the Christmas season, with Spanish words for each letter of the alphabet translated in a glossary."

Navidad estelar de Dora by Christine Ricci
Summary from OCLC:
"When a very special surprise visitor arrives at Dora's house on Christmas Eve, he needs help, and fast! Join Dora and friends on their magical Christmas adventure."

The Gift of the Poinsettia = El regalo de la flor de nochebuena by Pat Mora
Summary from OCLC:
"As he participates in the festivities of Las Posadas, preparing for the birth of Christ, a young Mexican boy worries about what gift he will have for the baby Jesus."

 La navidad de Maisy by Lucy Cousins
Summary from OCLC:
"Maisy and her friends prepare for a Christmas celebration.
Maisy y sus amigos preparan para una celebración de Navidad."

Iguanas in the Snow And Other Winter Poems / Iguanas En La Nieve Y Otros Poemas De Invierno by Francisco X. Alarcón.
Summary from OCLC:
"These poems celebrate winter in San Francisco and the mountains of Northern California."

Summary from OCLC:
"A bilingual collection of popular Christmas songs from Latin America, illustrated to depict the Hispanic culture's rich and exuberant holiday celebrations."

Summary from OCLC:
"A retelling of a Mexican legend that describes the origin of the Poinsettia plant. In this version, a young girl has nothing to give the Christ child, but when the weeds she carries in her hands miraculously transform into red flowers, she now has the perfect gift. Included is the music of a traditional Mexican Christmas song."

However you celebrate during the winter holidays, I hope it is filled with family, love, and good reading.  ¡Feliz Navidad!  

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Susan Middleton Elya strikes again!

The author of the popular rhyming titles that introduce readers to Spanish vocabulary such as Eight Animals Bake a Cake, Oh No Gotta Go!, and Say Hola to Spanish has struck again, this time with Adiós Tricycle. This book takes place at a garage sale, where Mom and Dad are earning some extra monedas by parting with unneeded items such as "outgrown ropa, pots for plantas and bowls for sopa." A gender-neutral niño is growing up and as such has a tricycle for sale - a favorite toy. As each potential buyer approaches the tricycle, our little seller tries to steer them elsewhere to avoid parting with the much loved trike. But finally, the trike moves on, earning the child enough money for a new mode of transportation - a bicicleta! Elizabeth Schlossberg's illustrations are emotive and cartoon-like, and the cast of animal characters represents a diverse group. As always, the text rhymes, which helps little readers develop the important pre-literacy skill of phonological awareness. A glossary at the back defines the Spanish words and provides some help with the pronunciation. Pair with Pato va en bici by David Shannon for a bicycle storytime or read-aloud!