Colato Laínez (The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez, 2010) presents a bicultural rendition of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” one of the most widely known and loved children’s songs.
This book introduces readers to the various animals on two separate farms. On the first page of each spread is Old MacDonald and a traditional verse of the song in English. The next page presents Señor Pancho, whose rancho is also filled with animals whose Spanish names and sounds are blended into the English text. The opening pages prepare readers who may not be familiar with Spanish by providing a glossary of terms and a pronunciation guide to the Spanish sounds. Finally, the animals from the two farms meet, and everyone joins in dancing and singing, mixing all of the sounds and names together. The lively illustrations are imbued with movement and humor, significantly contributing to the overall joy of the book. Subtle nuances, such as in landscape and textile patterns, are used to distinguish Old MacDonald and Señor Pancho. For some readers, the repetition of each verse might lack sufficient action to keep them engaged. Others, however, will enjoy learning the names of the animals in both English and Spanish and comparing the onomatopoeia in each language.
Chock-full of bicultural fun on the farm. (glossary, pronunciation guide, author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)