Today my guest author is Derek Taylor Kent. You might know him as Derek the Ghost, author of the award-winning MG series Scary School.
His first picture book is just came out August 18 called El Perro Con Sombrero: A Bilingual Doggy Tale and illustrated by the talented artist Jed Henry.
Derek says that Pepe is actually based on his own dog, Zander, whose nose for mischief was the inspiration for El Perro.
Favorite Bilingual Spanish Picture Books
Today, Derek is sharing his Top 10 Favorite Bilingual Spanish Picture Books.
10. Rooster / Gallo by Jorge Lujan and Manual Monroy
A short poem about a rooster who is responsible for making the sun rise each day. Each line is vividly illustrated. This is my pick for a short bilingual book that can be read in under three minutes.
9. My Name is Gabito / My llamo Gabito by Monica Brown
An award-winning, beautifully told story about the life of legendary Columbian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It focuses on how his childhood imagination led him to become one of the one of the great literary figures. This is my pick for best biographical bilingual picture book.
8. Tortillas Para Mamma and other Nursery Rhymes (various authors)
I am partial to any book about food, and this one gives delicious insight into another culture by hearing their nursery rhymes about food and cooking. Kids can have fun making up their own melodies and dances.
7. Gracias / Thanks by Pat Mora and John Parra
I call this the bilingual Goodnight Moon. It teaches a wonderful lesson to children about all the little things in life that they should be thankful for and happy about. Will put any child to sleep in a good mood.
6. Dalia’s Wondrous Hair by Laura Lacamara
This story wins my imagination award. A young girl’s hair grows so tall that it literally becomes a tree of the forest. The surprise ending is one of the most spectacular and satisfying I have read in a picture book.
5. Counting Ovejas (Sheep) by Sarah Weeks and David Diaz
This one takes my pick for best bedtime story. It teaches children counting and colors and will definitely make them sleepy. The final heartwarming illustration sets this one apart and will make every child feel safe and loved.
4. The Runaway Piggy / El Cochinito Fugitivo by James Luna
As a comedy writer, I give huge props to a writer who is able to make me laugh via picture book, so this one wins my humor award. A cookie shaped like a pig comes to life and runs away to avoid being eaten. The whole village starts chasing after it and hilarity ensues.
3. Maria Had a Little Llama / Maria Tenia una Llamita by Angela Dominguez
This book holds a special place in my heart as it was given to me by my editor at Holt/Macmillan as an example of how El Perro Con Sombrero could be made. It takes the story of Mary had a Little Lamb and gives it a fun twist by making the lamb a llama.
2. Tomalitos – A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta-Domi
This one wins my food award! It’s an ingenious idea by taking a sacred, delicious recipe for Tomalitos (similar to tamales) and turns the whole cooking process into a fun story that kids will enjoy enacting in the kitchen.
1. Pink Fire Trucks / Los Camionies de Bomeros de Color Rosado by Gladys Elizabeth Barbieri
I imagine if Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation were to write a picture book it would be something like this. It’s an empowering tale of a little girl who wants to be a firefighter when she grows up but is told she can’t be her boy classmates. When the class visits the local fire station, she ends up proving all of them wrong in spectacular fashion.
How about you? What bilingual picture books are you enjoying? Please share! Thanks!
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