A lightweight way to familiarize English-speaking youngsters with a few simple Spanish words.



Six rhymes and six flaps introduce six animals by their Spanish names: gato, perro, pájaro, ratón, conejo, and ardilla (cat, dog, bird, mouse, rabbit, and squirrel).

On the left-hand page of each spread, one rhyming couplet and the first line of a second describe common behavior and characteristics of an animal. On the recto, a declarative statement printed on a flap offers a bit more description. Lift the flap to see the animal and to complete the rhyme with the animal’s name in Spanish; an English translation appears below. For example, on the left: “I wag my tail, then leap and bark / and run with you out in the park. / I jump and catch the balls you throw.” Then on the right: “I am your frisky brown [lift the flap] perro. // Perro means dog.” The final spread presents all six animals with their Spanish names and phonetic pronunciations. Sanchez’s illustrations are simple cartoon drawings decorated with visual clues to the animal being described (balls of yarn and paw prints for the cat, bones, chew toys, and balls for the dog, etc.). Similarly, each flap is shaped like an item associated with that animal (cheese for the mouse, a carrot for the rabbit). This very elementary introduction to some child-friendly vocabulary is the first in a planned series of Let’s Learn Spanish books for very young children.

A lightweight way to familiarize English-speaking youngsters with a few simple Spanish words. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2667-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging.


From the I Can Learn! series

This noisy board book is designed to thrill tots fascinated with all things construction.

A tactile backhoe digger is center stage on each of the five cutout pages, complete with flaps. Brief rhyming text describes the machine’s actions as it works throughout the day. Animal characters engaged in manual labor or operating other machinery—a bulldozer, crane, road roller, and dump truck—describe more work that goes on at a construction site in small speech bubbles. Finding the mouse in every scene adds to the fun. On each page, a little bird sporting a hard hat invites young builders to press various parts of the silicone digger to activate a range of distinct sounds. The digger’s track pad sounds different from the sound of its arm moving dirt. The problem is that the digger itself is passive; the track pad and arm don’t actually move. The machine stays in the same place on every spread. The caution light beeps but doesn’t light up. Savvy kids will quickly realize that all the sounds are accessible from the first spread without having to turn the pages. The sound is the most engaging part of the book, but with only five sounds, this feature won’t hold most youngsters’ attention for long.

A disappointing twist on a popular theme. More gimmick than engaging. (Novelty board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68010-684-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind.


Ten babies in 10 countries greet friends in almost 10 languages.

Countries of origin are subtly identified. For example, on the first spread, NYC is emblazoned on a blond, white baby’s hat as well as a brown baby’s scoot-car taxi. On the next spread, “Mexico City” is written on a light brown toddler’s bike. A flag in each illustration provides another hint. However, the languages are not named, so on first reading, the fine but important differences between Spanish and Portuguese are easily missed. This is also a problem on pages showing transliterated Arabic from Cairo and Afrikaans from Cape Town. Similarly, Chinese and Japanese are transliterated, without use of traditional hànzì or kanji characters. British English is treated as a separate language, though it is, after all, still English. French (spoken by 67 million people) is included, but German, Russian, and Hindi (spoken by 101 million, 145 million, and 370 million respectively) are not. English translations are included in a slightly smaller font. This world survey comes full circle, ending in San Francisco with a beige baby sleeping in an equally beige parent’s arms. The message of diversity is reinforced by images of three babies—one light brown, one medium brown, one white—in windows on the final spread.

A cheery board book to reinforce the oneness of babykind. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-938093-87-6

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Duo Press

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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