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Si llevas un ratón a la escuela

This is a cute book. It's similar in rhythm and style to Si le das un panecillo a un alce, by the same author, Laura Numeroff. It follows the stream-of-consciousness requests of a mouse who,

Children's book in Spanish
Original Language of Book: English

as the title suggests, accompanies a kid to school.

The text on each page is succinct and fairly simple, which makes it easy to learn from deduction using the illustrations. The book also provides ample opportunities for learning useful vocabulary for the age range 3-7, like lunchbox, snack, and science experiment; and a solid range of useful verbs in the present, present subjunctive, and future tenses. Personally, I appreciate it when books incorporate subjunctive verb tenses, because I have found that the subjunctive tenses are most gracefully used by speakers who understand them on an intuitive level. I don't know for sure (yet), but I suspect that if they read the subjunctive tenses right along with all other verb tenses, they'll learn the subjunctive right along with all the other tenses. I'm pretty sure that's what we do as kids learning English, so I see no reason why it would be different for our bilingual babies who are soaking up their second language while they're still in the sponge stage of learning.

The only thing that rubbed me wrong about this book - and it's just a flaw inherent to translated works - is that the words in the artwork are not translated. So, for example, the words that the mouse writes on the chalkboard are English words, not Spanish words. And the book he writes and binds has an English title. It's minor. But if we're teaching our children that the Spanish language is as deserving of their time and attention as English, it seems that we should communicate that message both visually and vocally.

Author: Laura Numeroff

Illustrator: Felicia Bond

Where to Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Scholastic

Estimated Price: $11.55