Wednesday, February 18, 2015

10 Books I love to read to my students!

I love to read books to my students in Spanish class, whether they be folktales, legends, or great stories written to captivate the imagination. I am particularly partial to books with an Hispanic theme, as they bring the flavor and perspective of a wider world. Here is my top 10 favorites list (in no particular order :) ):

 1)  Borreguita and the Coyote by Verna Aardema: This was featured on Reading Rainbow many years ago and continues to be a favorite with my students. Based on a cycle of trickster tales from México, Borreguita outsmarts Coyote time and again until he finally gives up. So fun both to read and listen to!

2) Cartas a Ratón Pérez by Antonia Rodenas: I love this story! Written in Spanish, I read it in English (translating in my head, as the Spanish is too advanced for my students) and features Gato Negro, who has lost all his teeth and seeks out the help of Ratón Pérez, the Tooth Mouse.

3) Frida by Jonah Winter: This biography is kid centered, telling the story of Frida Kahlo's young life. The illustrations are to die for, and the text is both informative and inspiring!

4) El zorro y el cuy by Kevin Hawkes: Another trickster tale, this one comes from Perú and features a wily guinea pig determined not to get eaten by Zorro. I like to have my students compare this trickster tale with Borreguita and the Coyote as some elements are similar, and fosters a discussion about why it is a guinea pig (indigenous to the Andes).

5) We're Sailing to Galapagos by Laurie Krebs: This comes from Barefoot Books and introduces kids to the animals of the Galapagos in a rhyme which inspires kids to read along. There is great information at the end about the islands and the animals which inhabit them.

6) Por Fin es Carnaval by Arthur Dorros (available in English as well): Focusing on the traditional handicraft of arpilleras, this book follows a little boy in the Andes of Perú getting ready for Carnaval. Each illustration is itself an arpillera, and at the end there is information about how they are made. Wonderful for learning about both this holiday and this handicraft!

7) Laura y el ratón by Vicente Muñoz Puelles: Ratoncito Pérez makes his appearance in this book as well, as Laura, who has just turned six, loses her first tooth. I love to read this to my kindergartners (translating into English as I read) as they relate so well to Laura. A wonderful introduction to Hispanic tooth traditions.

8) The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Tomie dePaola: You can never read too many trickster tales! Another in the cycle of tales from México, Rabbit eventually climbs up to the moon to get away from Coyote! So much fun!

9) Pancho's Piñata by Stefan Czernecki: The illustrations are delightful in this book imagining the first piñata. Full of grace and gratitude, this book brings a wonderful message of giving along with history about the piñata (in the end pages).

10) Gauchada by C. Drew Lamm: I think I read this more for me than for my students, though they enjoy it, too! I just adore the storyline and the students sometimes find it a bit over their head- this is a great book for just the right class.

I hope you have a moment to check out these wonderful books! What books do you love to read to your students? Let me know!

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