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.