The Bookshelf: Spanish Board Books We're Reading (17 months) December 15 2010

Our nightly reading to the toddler usually begins with Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?. No offense to Brown Bear, he's wonderful and all, but I really do want to try to do as much reading as I can to the toddler in Spanish. So after revving up in English, everything else I read is in Spanish. Problem is, it's slim pickings for Spanish books here in the U.S. -- or at least they're not easy to come by, so I'm having trouble building up the toddler's book collection. At 17 months, the toddler is at the board books stage, so I picked up a few while in Spain a few months ago. I guess it doesn't make my search for books easier since I'm choosey about what books I buy, and I try to get original stories, not necessarily translations (and yes, I realize many fairy tales weren't even in English originally, either). I wasn't having much luck at this Spanish bookstore til I honed in on one little section where the books just jumped out at me. I realized they were all from the same company -- Anaya Infantil y Juvenil. I bought several, including these two:

Lola Trae Regalos: Lola es una encantadora mariquita que tiene muchos amigos. Ha vuelto de vacaciones y no se ha olvidado de ninguno. ¡Hay regalos para todos! La mariposa, el gusano, la hormiga, el caracol, la libélula, la luciérnaga y el escarabajo no se lo pueden creer: ¡todos tienen su regalo! Sin embargo, ellos piensan que el mejor regalo es su amistad.
Un Perro Blanco: Copo era un perro tan blanco, tan blanco, que la gente lo confundía con una oveja, y si iba a la nieve, nadie podía verlo. Hasta que un día decidió cambiar su aspecto…
Ana y Andrés Guerrero han creado, a cuatro manos, cuatro títulos con ilustraciones sencillas ("Dos osos grandes", "El dragón frío", "Un perro blanco" y "El caracol lento"), pero llenas de guiños que atraerán la atención de los primeros lectores.

See, don't they sound great? The toddler K is always asking for Lola, too. It wasn't until we were back home and these books were in our reading rotation that I realized just how stellar they were, and of course, I wanted MORE, MORE. Meh, seems I can't order them internationally :( Totally makes me lean more and more toward wanting the capability to download e-books for children to the iPad (that I don't own, YET!). I know it's already available, but I'm just on the fence about traditional versus e-books right now, especially for children's books.

Anaya's blog is a pretty good read too. If you browse through it you can see just how great their little books are, the writing and illustrations. Wish I could run to the nearest bookstore and have them all there waiting. I'd settle for an online children's bookstore that carried a wide selection of Spanish-language books. Considering the population, I don't really think that's asking much. What's taking bookstores here so long to figure this out?