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Sparky's Bark/El ladrido de Sparky Hardcover – August 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2–Lucy is excited about her first trip to the United States to visit family in Ohio. When she and her mother arrive, the child finds that the landscape is very different from her native land and that the language people speak sounds hostile and frightening. Even the family dog, Sparky, doesn't understand her commands and entreaties. Lucy is terribly homesick until she decides to ask her cousin Robby to teach her a few words of English. By the end of the summer, she is able to master the language well enough to play with Sparky. The text in both languages is a bit dense for the intended audience, but would work well as a read-aloud. The English and Spanish appear separately on the same page, but some intermingling of the two occurs occasionally without being intrusive. Escrivá's watercolor illustrations are delightful and detailed, complementing the story well. A solid choice for storytimes and for libraries looking to reflect a common immigrant experience of their youngest patrons.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. With a Spanish translation that flows smoothly and sounds natural, this pleasant bilingual picture book focuses on little Lucy and her mother, who journey from an unnamed Latin American country to visit their relatives in Ohio. The story begins with the excitement of the plane trip, followed quickly by culture shock. Everything is so strange. Cousin Robby's dog, Sparky, motivates Lucy to learn English so she is able to communicate, and through this process, Lucy comes to know her American family and finally begins to enjoy her visit. The illustrations, with pink-cheeked characters and homey scenes of the Ohio farm, are very appealing, contributing greatly to the story's simple, firmly delineated message about language and culture. Stella Clark
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: KTegenBks; Bilingual edition (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006053172X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060531720
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,985,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Written in a Spanish and English format, Sparky's Bark is the tale of a little girl's adventures in a new country, the sights and smells of her homeland left far behind as she travels to the United States on an airplane with her mother to spend the summer in Ohio on her uncle's farm. The first thing Lucy notices is that there are no banana groves, no flamingos and no lagoons in this country, but miles and miles of crops and country roads. Reaching Tio John's farm, mother and daughter are greeted Aunt Dot and Cousin Robby, and, best of all, Robby's dog, Sparky. Sparky jumps with joy to see Lucy, but she quickly realizes that the dog cannot understand anything she says.

At their first meal with the family, Lucy is surprised at the rather bland flavors of Aunt Dot's dishes, used to the flavors of Mamita's cooking, the peppery chili's and spicy flavors of her native land. After a brief period of discomfort, Lucy tackles the unfamiliar world in which she finds herself, determined to learn English with her cousin's help. Lucy's goal is for Sparky to understand when she speaks to him. Little by little, Lucy gains command of the unfamiliar language, thrilled when Sparky understands her commands to "sit" and "roll over".

Wonderful drawings accompany Lucy's adventures in Ohio, the text in both English and Spanish, a paragraph of each on the pages with corresponding images, facilitating a simple comparison of the two languages and similar words. This story is beautifully written and illustrated for young readers, a charming tale of a little girl and the dog that finally "hears" her words. Luan Gaines/ 2006.
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Format: Hardcover
Travel to a foreign land is filled with exciting and sometimes scary experiences. For Lucy, the strange new place is Ohio, very far and very different from her home in Latin America. She and her mother fly on a noisy airplane to visit cousins on a Midwest farm, where the fields of corn are nothing like the sweet-smelling streets lined with stands of purple orchids she remembers. She sees many cows but no flamingoes, a duck pond but no lagoon.
A rambunctious puppy named Sparky welcomes Lucy to the farm, but Sparky doesn't understand her Spanish words and won't behave for her. Perhaps if she could speak to him in English, Sparky would know what she wanted. Cousin Robby shares a book with pictures that match the words: hats and cats and bats and more. English is very difficult, but Lucy is determined to learn.
The story is presented in both English and Spanish on each page. The dual text is well done: both English and Spanish flow with childlike rhyme and poetic imagery. Recommended as a read-aloud story to share with young children, this book could also appeal to older readers learning either English or Spanish. While natural variations in word order occur, the parallels are close enough that a reader who knows only one language could follow the other.
Detailed watercolor illustrations enhance the gentle adventure as Lucy adapts to her strange situation. Readers will rejoice on the day that Sparky responds to Lucy's commands, in an ending that is indeed muy simpático--very nice!
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