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I love this simple rhyme
on June 24, 2016
Five stars for the Spanish part, one star for the English adaptations. It's not just that they don't translate the Spanish words, it's that they aren't true to the overall feeling of the rhymes. The traditional rhymes are lovely and simple and sometimes a little nonsensical, whereas the English poems feel fussy and contrived. For example, I love this simple rhyme:
El sol es de oro
la luna es de plata
y las estrellitas
son de hoja de lata.
(Literal translation: The sun is made of gold, the moon is of silver, and the little stars are of tinplate.)
The adaptation in the book, on the other hand, throws in a bunch of extraneous ideas:
The sun's a gold medallion.
The moon's a silver ball.
The little stars are only tin;
I love them best of all.
Will a little kid know what a medallion is? Does the moon always look like a ball? Why prefer one heavenly body over the others? If you're writing an original poem, maybe you do want to explore these ideas; it's just that the original Spanish poem doesn't, which makes it much more elegant.
It also seems to me that the translations are so far from the original they might confuse a child who knows one language and is learning the other.
But the Spanish rhymes are excellent, and the cute illustrations fit them perfectly, so there's really a lot to like about this book.