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Archive for the ‘books’ tag

April 12th, 2012 at 5:01 am

Books About Spring for Bilingual Kids

It’s been unseasonably warm in my neck of the woods this spring. In fact, many days have actually felt more like summer than spring. Either way, we all love spring in my house because it means we can plant some flowers and we all get to spend a lot more time outside.

My daughter always has all kinds of questions about the season and so I’ve found that books about them can be a great source of answers. So here I’m sharing some really cool bilingual springtime books for you to read with your little one.

Laughing tomatoes and other Spring poems by Francisco X. Alarcon — Poetry is such a great way to get your kids to love reading. Alarcon has written several wonderful books of poems and this is no exception.

Clifford y la limpieza de primavera by Norman Bridwell — Who doesn’t know Clifford, right? My kids adore him and I love the way his books explain concepts like this one about spring cleaning.

My friends/Mis amigos by Taro Gomi — A super cute book about a little girl who takes a walk and learns all kinds of different things from a bunch of different friends, like a monkey, an owl and a horse. Perfect for the littlest ones.

Experiments for everyday of the Spring by Anita Vaan San — If your kids are as inquisitive as mine, they probably love trying out all sorts of experiments. There’s one book for each of the seasons.

What are your recommendations?


Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s currently working on her first book, based on her blog, to be published in September. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.





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March 15th, 2012 at 5:01 am

5 Books in Spanish All Bilingual Kids Should have

Last week I shared with you some recommendations for bilingual books all bilingual children should have. This week, it’s the turn of Spanish-only books. These are many, but these are some of my favorites.


1. El Principito — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s is a masterpiece and must-read in any language, even (or especially) if you’re not a child. My daughter is only 5, but I can’t wait until she can read it herself. In fact, maybe I’ll start reading it to her myself. She can read it later. I know she’s going to love it.

2. Fonchito y la Luna — This is the first children’s book of famed Peruvian author and winner of the Nobel Prize Mario Vargas Llosa. I got it when we went to Peru last year, but it’s available in Amazon and it tells the cute story of a boy who learns that there’s nothing one will not do for love. Highly recommended!

3. El pequeño hoplita — This is from the same series as the book on top, but it’s written by Arturo Pérez Reverte, also an extremely talented Spanish author of books for adults. It tells the story of a young hero on a mission. I love it when an author of adult literature writes something for children because it allows me to teach my children about these great masters much earlier.

4. Los zapaticos de Rosa — A definite must-read classic by Cuban genius José Martí. A beautiful poem that tells the story of a little rich girl who hands her beloved pink shoes over to a poor, sick child she meets at the beach.

5. Platero y yo — Another classic that will never go out of style. Written by the Spaniard Juan Ramón Jiménez back in the beginning of the 20th Century, it tells the story of a little donkey, Platero, which the author uses as a reflection about life’s simple joys. It’s available in Amazon for free in its Kindle version.

Do you have any favorites? Please share.

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s currently working on her first book, based on her blog, to be published in September. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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October 18th, 2011 at 5:00 am

So Many Books. So Little Time

For all of you fellow book lovers out there, this line rings so very true, especially when you’re in the stage of your life where family, job and everyday responsibilities don’t leave much time for the pleasure of reading.

I for one, am constantly wishing I had more time to read the books I’ve got on my nightstand, my Kindle, my bookshelves, and my friends’ and family’s bookshelves. Currently, I’ve got a Kindle book in progress (The Abbey) a book on CD in the car (The #1 Ladies Detective Agency) and a paperback that my friend Joanna sent me (The Red Rose Crew). It’s kind of crazy to be juggling all three but I can’t help it. Call it literary multitasking.

I’m one of those people who really likes books. I like reading them and I like reading about them. The first section of the Sunday paper that I read is the Book Review. I love Listmania on Amazon and seeing other people’s lists of favorites for good suggestions. I also make a beeline to the books whenever I go to a yard sale. So when I Stumbled Upon a website called World Book Night, which is a celebration of books that started in the UK and Ireland in 2011 and will include the USA in 2012, I had to explore it. The next World Book Night will be on April 23, 2012, UNESCO’s International Day of the Book.

What I found on this website is a living list of the WBN Top 100 Books. Perusing the list, I saw many of the titles that I’ve read and loved and so many that I’d love to tuck into. What I really liked though, was the ability to vote for my own favorites. As more people vote, the list changes. So naturally, I registered and started listing my own top reads and voting for ones on the list that I agree should be there. Yes, that’s my idea of a good time.

More than most people, I am fully immersed in technology on a daily basis. But when I need to decompress, which seems to be more often now than ever, reading a book is my first choice of activity. How wonderful that e-readers allow us to have 1,000 books on a device that fits in my purse. How equally wonderful it is to enjoy the feel and smell of an actual book or listen to a beautiful voice giving life to an audio book. When it comes to reading, I want it all and am grateful for having choices.

Now, back to the list…

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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August 11th, 2011 at 5:01 am

A Few of Our Favorite Bilingual Children’s Books

Even though my daughter has always loved books, it seems as if we don’t get to read as much in the summer because we spend so much time outdoors. Now that my daughter has been back to school for almost two weeks, we’re getting back into our routine of reading at least one book every night. So I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few of my – and my daughter’s – favorite bilingual books. (Keep in mind that this list applies mostly to preschoolers and kindergartners.)

1) I Know the Rivers Loves Me by Maya Christina Gonzalez – A children’s love story about the relationship between a girl and a river. An award-winning artist and author, Gonzalez has been hailed for her vibrant imagery and intense colors. She has illustrated more than 20 children’s books.

2) The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha Vamos – Written in “This is the House that Jack Built” fashion, Vamos does a great job of embedding key words in Spanish to tell the story of a farm maiden who is cooking a cazuela. I love that the book has a glossary with a pronunciation guide at the end.

3) Book Fiesta by Pat Mora – Prolific writer and founder of Día (an annual celebration of children and books), Mora’s book is all about this celebration. The illustrations intense colors jump off the pages to convey a simple message: Reading is fun! Can’t beat that!

4) Ten Little Puppies by Alma Flor ADa and F. Isabel Campoy – A terrific duo of bilingual writers, Ada and Campoy have been writing children’s books for a long time. This particular one is an adaptation of a traditional nursery rhyme in Spanish which I learned while I lived in Mexico as a child. The rhyming is catchy and kids learn to count backwards at the same time.

5) I’m Just Like My Mom/I’m Just Like My Dad by Jorge Ramos – Written by renowned and long-time Univision anchor, Jorge Ramos, this bilingual book answers the quintessential question of ‘whom do I look like?’ that all kids love to ask! Ramos has written a book that addresses this question and the cool thing about it is that once you’re done with the story of how this girl is just like her mom, you can flip the book and read all about how this boy is just like his dad.

Truth be told, we are lucky to be able to say that our bilingual (and Spanish) library is expansive. So, while these are books that my daughter gravitates to on a regular basis, it doesn’t mean the other ones are no good. In the months to come, I’ll be sharing some more favorites from our bookshelves. In the meantime, you can check out a lot more other recommendations on SpanglishBaby.

What are your favorite bilingual books?

Roxana A. Soto is the Editorial Director of SpanglishBaby and she also writes for Moms Clean Air ForcePulso VerdeNew Futuro and Fox News Latino



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