Continuing her First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art series, Weill presents 15 animals and their sounds in both English and Spanish, accompanied by models crafted by Fuentes and Broa.
Each double-page spread depicts a single type of animal represented by two different Oaxacan models facing each other across the gutter and placed on bright, harmonizing backgrounds. English is on verso, Spanish is on recto: “Roosters say / COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO / Can you? // Los gallos dicen / KI-KIRI-KI / ¿Puedes tú?” Each rooster is glorious, feet firmly planted, wings spread, and head extended to crow lustily. The English rooster is primarily blue and sits on a warm, orange background, while the Spanish rooster is orange on a yellow background. The type used to represent their vocalizations is printed in blue and orange, respectively. The pattern continues with minor variations throughout, presenting kitties/los gatitos, fish/los peces, goats/las cabras, tigers/los tigres, cows/las vacas, bees/las abejas, horses/los caballos, dogs/los perros, frogs/las ranas, piggies/los porquitos, lions/los leones, snakes/las serpientes, turkeys/los pavos, and owls/los búhos. There may be regional differences in Spanish animals’ dialects that give individual readers momentary pause: do Spanish-speaking turkeys say, “gordo gordo,” everywhere? Some might feel that they say, “glú glú glú”; is “rahr” really what Spanish-speaking tigers say? The two-way pronunciation guide in the aftermatter is a thoughtful touch.
A beautiful, playful, childcentric approach to language learning—and if it spawns conversations about dialects, so much the better. (Picture book. 2-5)