A bright celebration of vegetables in Spanish and English for the youngest readers.
With, mostly, one vegetable per page (pumpkins and sweet corn each occupy a double-page spread), this introduction to veggies offers far more variety than the usual board book. Carrots, peas, and broccoli—the usual suspects—share space with such relative exotics as artichokes, eggplants, and asparagus. Rendered in bright, painterly strokes, each vegetable is placed on a solid-colored background that allows it to pop: creamy, yellow onion on deep blue; dark purple beet on light green; leafy, green spinach on brick red. All look, well, good enough to eat. A bilingual edition of the English-only Vegetables (2008), this board book appears to prioritize Spanish in its typography and design, printing the Spanish text in bold above the English. A closer look, however, reveals that in sequencing, the text still gives preference to English rhythm and rhyme. The highly chantable “green bean / radish // sweet potato / yam // cauliflower / cabbage // Vegetables jam!” in English becomes “el ejote / el rábano // el camote / el camote rojo // la coliflor / la col (o el repollo) // ¡Una fiesta de verduras!” in Spanish. A true Spanish-language equivalent to the original would need to be built from the ground up in order to achieve the same rich experience.
As a simple Spanish vocabulary builder, this book, along with its companion, Frutas/Fruit, is serviceable, but as a rollicking read-aloud, it pales by comparison with its original. (Board book. 6 mos.-3)