The Bookshelf: Libraries with Good Spanish Children's Books December 06 2011

Although they should be, not all libraries are created equally. We headed out in the rain today to return some of K's library books. Instead of walking to the one that's a block away, we drove a few miles to the one with the good Spanish-language children's books collection. The still-newish Watha T. Daniel/Shaw public library in DC is really a thing of beauty, and just a nice public space. This glass box is three floors, but that belies the feel inside. It's inviting, and whether it's the middle of sweltering summer or freeze-your-pants-off winter, it always feel like sunny spring with the outside light filling the entire space. It makes you want to come back again and again, which is more than I can say for the library near our house, with its Bomb Shelter signage next to the entrance. Not that age makes a difference -- I love the charm of old buildings. But this one has got to be updated. It was slated for an upgrade, but DC politics being what it is, that got thrown out the window. I've heard the upgrade is back on. We'll see. I would be the happiest mom on the block.

So, we've been slacking on reading in Spanish. We've been reading a lot of Mo Willems books lately, mostly the Knuffle Bunny books. Mo Willems rocks, that's all I gotta say. But -- I figured it was time we get back on track.

I got as many books as my canvas bag could fit. When a kid wants you to read and read and read to them, that's not a bad thing. But as an adult, you can go a little crazy reading the same three books over and over again. So I do it more for my sanity than for her.

At the Shaw library, they have two full shelves full of books in Spanish and a bin of board books, including a lot of translated-from-English-favorites books. But surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, they have a lot of books from international publishers I've never heard of. And I do look for that.


My daughter is all about Olivia right now, so I thought we'd ease back into the Spanish books with some translated Olivia books. It worked. After reading this book she was off to her toy box to get a drum and she banged it for about 20 minutes.


There are a few other great books I picked up that I'll write about in the upcoming week. There's one that I'm super excited about -- it's poetry for children, literally. And I'm not a poetry person, but even I loved. Will share soon.