All around Me / A mi alrededor.
2017. 12p. illus. Scholastic/Children’s Press, $8.95 (9780531230749). 468. PreS–Gr. 1.
This colorful bilingual title in the Words Are Fun/Diverpalabras
series gives early readers and parents an opportunity to practice identifying objects both in English and Spanish. The board book has
convenient page tabs that are illustrated with a picture of an object
associated with a certain time of day, location, or activity, such as
cereal for breakfast and blocks for a classroom. Each two-page spread
includes a themed assortment of labeled objects and a question in
English and Spanish that invites the reader to select items from the
page. For example, “What do you wear when it is cold outside?” lets
readers choose from a hat, scarf, and more. The final spread gathers
all the book’s pictures and challenges kids to see how many words
they can remember. —Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez
Buenas noches, Planeta.
By Liniers. Illus. by the author.
Sept. 2017. 40p. TOON, $12.95 (9781943145218). 741.5. K–Gr. 3.
This adorable graphic novel begins with a little girl playing with her
beloved doll, Planeta. When she wishes Planeta good night and falls
asleep, the doll wakes up and scurries out of bed to play with the family’s spaniel, Elliot, and a mouse, Bradley. This sweet, whimsical story
of what toys get up to at night is geared toward early readers, with
copious, generally realistic illustrations that nicely evoke the dreamlike
scenes. Though much of the story is wordless, the Spanish text is in
simple sentences that replicate the cadence of children’s speech, with
a sprinkling of vocabulary that will improve fluency for both Spanish
and non-Spanish speakers. Gentle and bighearted, this graphic novel
will leave readers with the parting thought that each creature, big or
small, can be its own universe. —Kristina Pino
Dos conejos blancos.
By Jairo Buitrago. Illus. by Rafael Yockteng.
2016. 56p. Groundwood, $18.95 (9781554989034). K–Gr. 2.
Here, in its original Spanish, is Buitrago’s poignant story of an
Esteban de Luna, Baby Rescuer! / Esteban de Luna,
unnamed young girl and her father immigrating to the U.S. from
hopes of finding better opportunities in the U.S. While the young
girl counts what she sees, the muted digital illustrations key the
reader into other events, such as the pair’s experiences on the train
and the dad counting their remaining money, which leads to their
stopping to find temporary work. This beautiful, understated story is
extremely important right now; it will resonate with many and open
the eyes of children unfamiliar with the experience of immigration.
—Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez
¡rescatador de bebés!
By Larissa M. Mercado-López. Illus. by Alex Pardo DeLange.
2017. 32p. Arte Publico/Pinata, $17.95 (9781558858473). K–Gr. 3.
Mercado-López’s debut children’s book challenges gender expectations
through its compassionate story of a young boy who learns that being
a hero is not always about having superpowers. Clad in a green cape,
Esteban rescues a baby doll from the park, which he protects from the
rain, carries on his back, and holds while Dad
reads to him. Elementary-age readers will en-
joy Mercado-López’s easy-to-follow bilingual
text and narrative style, and they will certainly
look forward to more adventures by Esteban
de Luna, baby rescuer. DeLange’s illustrations
add to the warm and homey effect of the sto-
ry by incorporating realistic details, particularly in the de Luna home,
where there are toys strewn about, coffee mugs on tables, and a single
shoe or a sock on the floor. Esteban is simultaneously a gentle being and
a caped hero, and his wonderful, accessible story showcases how being a
superhero is about far more than fighting. —Sonia Alejandra Rodríguez
¡Es un camaleón!
By Tessa Kenan. Tr. by Annette Granat.
Nov. 2017. 24p. illus. Lerner/ediciones, lib. ed., $25.32 (9781512441277). 597.95.
With crisp, clear photos and easy-to-read facts, this eye-catching
introduction to chameleons covers parts of the reptile’s body, its life
cycle, and some of its notable features, such as eyes that can look in
two directions at once and a long, sticky tongue for catching insects.
Thoughtful questions encourage young children to consider why some
of these qualities might be useful. Short, direct sentences will be easily accessible to Spanish speakers, and kids learning the language will
pick up some new vocabulary. Bright, colorful backgrounds and large
text make the facts stand out, and each accompanying full-color photo
provides a close-up view of chameleons in action. Helpful diagrams, a
glossary, index, and further reading accompany the text. An excellent
introduction to chameleons and a useful addition to Spanish-nonfic-tion children’s collections. —Selenia Paz
Feliz / Happy.
By Rhea Wallace.
2016. 12p. illus. Rourke, $5.95 (9781683420040). 152. PreS–K.
Multiethnic babies smile from every page of this bilingual board
book, which seeks to illustrate happiness. An emotion can be a tricky
thing to define, but this book manages it by drawing attention to
behaviors commonly associated with this feeling. The layout is clean
and inviting, featuring a close-up photo of one child per page, placed
against a white backdrop. Simple, colorful text runs along the top and
bottom of the pages, with English words printed in red and Spanish in
blue. Starting with the prompt, “When I am happy,” the book offers
From the cover of La siesta perfecta by Pato Mena.