From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Following in the tradition of Margot Griego's Tortillitas para Mama (Holt, 1995) and Jose-Luis Orozco's Diez deditos (Dutton, 1997) comes this stellar collection of nursery rhymes. Selected from the rich oral tradition of Latin America and the American Southwest, most of the verses are known throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The rhymes cover everything from early morning birds to elephants to angels, and the reason for their enduring popularity is clear. Deeply rhythmic verses, compelling rhyme schemes, and words that "play trippingly on the tongue" characterize every verse. Schertle's excellent English adaptations are not literal translations but poetic re-creations. They retain the rhythm, meter, and general meaning of the originals, making the rhymes as memorable and memorizable in English as they are in Spanish. Escriv 's watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations use brilliant hues and detail to reconstruct a young child's world. Certain to become a staple for preschool and early elementary programs, this offering is also a wonderful, reassuring lap book. A must-purchase for libraries.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS. As the preface to this delightful book states, nursery rhymes and songs are an important part of Spanish oral folklore. The 29 rhymes here--some accompanied by finger plays or games, and some simply meant to be chanted on their own--in most cases came to the Americas from Spain. They are presented both in Spanish and in English, although "to preserve the charm of the original rhymes," the English versions are not translations but "poetic recreations." Even adult readers with a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish will see some of the differences, but both versions have a sweet, rhythmic simplicity that will get children singing, clapping, and perhaps making some forays into a new language. The watercolor illustrations, featured prominently on the page, are a mix of historical and contemporary, generic Latin American scenes, and pictures of animals (not Escriva's artistic strong suit). Parents, teachers, and librarians will find a multitude of uses. Ilene Cooper
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