This title is one of several by Ziefert in the bilingual ¡Hola English! series, intended to appeal both to Spanish-speaking readers learning English and the reverse.
Unfortunately, the story falls flat, and the Spanish translation leaves much to be desired. The author follows a familiar pattern, with a narrator asking several bears, “Are you my brown bear?” Readers meet various characters such as “big bear” and “dig bear” until finally locating the missing teddy bear. The Spanish employs a literal translation of the English text, which means that the wordplay and rhymes are completely lost. Some of the word choices are bizarre (such as translating “scary” as “espeluznante,” not in common conversational use), and many make the Spanish much more difficult than the early-reader–level English that it accompanies. Readers looking for beginning bilingual titles that are more equally engaging across both languages may want to consider choices from Pat Mora’s My Family / Mi familia series, and for a rhyming bilingual book that excels in both English and Spanish, try Hello Night / Hola noche, by Amy Costales and illustrated by Mercedes McDonald (2007).
A simple story with cute illustrations, but the lack of care given to the Spanish translation results in an unbalanced bilingual book as a whole. (Bilingual early reader. 5-8)