A concertina-style board book features the Spanish nursery rhyme “Los pollitos dicen” on one side and an English translation on the other.
Readers who tap the book out of its slipcase can choose either version; neither language is prioritized in the book’s accordion-fold presentation. The illustrations are identical, as are the interactive features. The plot is simple: the chubby-cheeked yellow chicks squeal when they hatch, when they’re cold, and when they want a meal, and their hen mother fetches corn to feed them and then cuddles them to sleep. Charmingly, even in the English translation, the chicks squeal in Spanish: “¡pío! ¡pío! ¡pío!” a protest that is printed in large, red letters on the undersides of several flaps. (Others lift to allow readers to husk corn and to see the chicks nestled under the hen’s wing; a spinning wheel allows readers to send the rather tired-looking hen walking out to the cornfield.) The English translation shows itself in a couple of places, when the mother warms the chicks “head to heel” in a rather forced rhyme and in abandoning the sonorously stretched-out “a-cu-rru-ca-ditos” for the rather paler “snuggled up with mummy.” Still, in an environment when all too often it’s the non-English language that is the second-class citizen, this seems entirely forgivable. English speakers will want to read the Spanish so they can enjoy it fully.
A thoroughly engaging, ingeniously designed Latino celebration. (Board book. 1-5)