This series of bilingual board books has received the Benjamin Franklin Award from the Publishers Marketing Association. The sturdy binding, chunky size and stiff board pages coupled with the bright colors of the illustrations make these books very appealing to the younger set. Colors and Shapes features illustrations of multicultural children holding up outsized shapes in different colors (e.g., red circle, yellow square, blue oval, etc.). The English words appear in the top left-hand corner, while the Spanish words appear in the bottom left-hand corner. The final page depicts a busy classroom scene and invites readers to identify shapes and colors from the scene. The Alphabet features illustrations of toys, musical instruments, and other commonplace items in bright cheerful colors. Each page showcases a letter of the Spanish alphabet (? and ll included). The author has chosen items that begin with the same letter in both languages (e.g., airplane/ avion, flower/ flor, juice/ jugo). The use of exotic creatures native to South and Central America such as the ?andu and the quetzal give this book a uniquely Latin flavor. Numbers also uses wonderful illustrations of exotic animals, from the iguana on page one to two toucans, three turtles, four frogs, etc. All the numbers, one through 10, are assembled at the end, and readers are invited to repeat their names in both languages. The final pages list the numbers up to 20 with both their English and Spanish names. This well executed series belongs in all public and school libraries serving a very young Hispanic clientele. Also appropriate for book-stores. M.O.B. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
As a bilingual introduction to a toddler's ABCs, this book stands out. It is no wonder that it has won the Latino Literary Hall of Fame's Mariposa Award, the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award, and the Writer's Digest Certificate of Merit. The book's size and hardy board-book material are perfect for curious little hands. The colorful and chunky pictures of toddler favorites such as an airplane, a flower, a robot, a train, and a sun are bright and delightful. However, it is the unique addition of less familiar objects that make this book a winner. Q is for quetzal, a beautiful tropical bird from Central America and national bird of Guatemala. N is for nanadu, a South American bird similar to an ostrich. The letter I isn't represented with an igloo, but an island. And G is for guitar. The book also captures something of a cross-cultural exchange between the U.S. and Spanish-speaking countries. Xilofono for most of the Spanish-speaking world is a marimba, but in this collection is translated from Xylophone. And W stand for Washington, the accompanying drawing being a U.S. quarter head side up. The only caution is that the Spanish in this book doesn't reflect the many dialects found around the world. For example, the word balls is translated bolas, used more often in Spain, rather than pelotas, which is more common in Central and South America. 2000, Me+Mi Publishing, Ages 6 mo. to 6.
—Michelle Negron Bueno