, January 31, 2011
As a Spanish teacher I love this book. Any person who can read English at third grade level can look into this book and pick up loads of vocabulary with no prior knowledge of Spanish needed. Most pages present a large drawing of a scene of daily life surrounded on the margins with smaller drawings of individual objects labeled in Spanish. This gives the opportunity to learn many nouns in context. As my students learn more verbs I take them back through the pictures to talk about what they see happening. The general scenes are engaging and full of emotion and small dramas that kids can have a great time interpreting. There are also pages devoted to themes such as weather and season, action words, and opposites, providing painless grammar.
All of the labels on drawings are in Spanish. There is no English beyond the title page. I like this because it lets the reader relate the noun or concept in the picture directly to a Spanish word; no translating required! For a reader who wants an English translation to go with the Spanish, this is not the right book. Get The New Oxford Picture Dictionary instead.
Again, I love this book and I use it as a teaching tool all the time. I wish that the publisher made posters or projectable digital images of the pages. I would cover the walls of my classroom with them!