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?