I recently picked up Marta Big & Small, written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Angela Dominguez, and I just had to share it.
This bilingual book is wonderful not only for the understated yet adorable illustrations, but also because of the lyrical flow to the text.
As we follow Marta through the story, she is compared to various animals, so we are practicing opposites. The comparisons are made in both English and Spanish, but in a way that sounds poetic as opposed to a school lesson.
For example, “To an elephant, Marta is pequeña. Small, very small.”
This makes it fun to read while also being educational. And my kids love to ask me how to say things in Spanish, so to have these words presented like this is something I can really appreciate.
There is also a spread where we learn the Spanish words for the animals. For example, Marta is “fast like el caballo.”
I am also completely enchanted by the female-positive message at the end. She is called “clever, very clever, like una niña.” This is a fantastic way to end the tale that includes her outsmarting a snake who though she looked “sabrosa” or “tasty.”
Plus, we get another spread which lists the words in the book with the Spanish and English words side by side, as a glossary.
Fun to read and educational! Can’t beat that.
This is a fun book to read. It has lots of sounds, or onomatopoeias, which kids enjoy. And you can kind of dance about while reading it, or, you know, maybe leave the dancing around to the kiddos.
Either way, this dinosaur may be dirty, but he does wind up taking a bath at the very end. Before the bath comes along, though, the kids will have a lot of fun with the stomping and shaking and snuffing about over the pages of simple illustrations mixed with bright colors.
Real mud was used in creating the illustrations, so that’s something that would be fun to incorporate into crafts with your own kids.
Watch my video review to see inside the book:
And you can read a little more about it on my book website:
Is your kid/grandkid/niece/nephew a BIG dinosaur fan? Because then you really should check out some of these awesome titles, too:
Happy Reading! (Roar)
I love these Muddle and Match books! They make great gifts but they also keep my kids entertained during both story time and long car rides. The reason for this is because they are SO interactive.
The concept of the books is this: you have three sections on each “page” that are all able to be turned independently. So the story on the left and the picture on the right can be changed over and over. You could end up with a cowgirl head, a fairy body, and a mermaid tail – kind of like the picture on the cover. And then you can change it up again!
Another thing I love is the alliteration. Each page of the story focuses on one letter – which makes it easy to incorporate these books into lessons of learning the alphabet.
The books themselves are like a board book with thick pages, and they also feature rounded edges.
And, you know, they are super silly and fun! Which is an awesome way to help kids learn to love reading.
Watch my video review to see the books in action:
And check out the whole collection on my book site: