By Cynthia Garza
on January 25, 2012
With 0 comments
By Cynthia Garza
on December 06, 2011
With 0 comments
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.
By Dos Borreguitas
on December 15, 2010
With 1 comments
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?