A lovely and unencumbered picture book combines with an infectious CD to introduce Spanish through song.
Reminiscent of an Ella Jenkins recording and using very little English, Canetti introduces 25 simple rhymes common in the Spanish-speaking world. She begins her recording by explaining in both languages the eight different categories for the rhymes. These include taking a trip, “¡A Pasear!”; a day on the farm, “¡A La Granja!”; playtime, “¡A Jugar!”; bedtime, “¡A Dormir!” and more. Her soft, gentle voice with distinct Castilian diction slowly and patiently recites each rhyme, sometimes twice, so listeners can absorb pronunciation and inflection; this is followed by a musical version, with children’s voices singing some verses. And while there is no English translation throughout the pages of the book or within the recitations on the CD, key vocabulary is identified with good picture cues sprinkled among the illustrations. These are small and finely detailed, adding a seek-and-find aspect to the experience. In addition, endpapers provide translations and instructions for activity use with the rhymes (both in regrettably small type).
Thoughtfully designed, this will be welcomed by many who already speak the language, are learning or just wish to plunge right in for bilingual storytimes. ¡Que bueno! (Picture book. 2-7)