Below you will find:
* Our review of Escucha Means Listen
* Information about the author, Talia Aikens-Nuñez
* A Tour Giveaway for $25 a Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Title: Escucha Means Listen
Author: Talia Aikens-Nuñez
Illustrator: Dina Ashraf Helmi
Year published: 2012
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Number of pages: 18
Recommended age: 3+
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary (Amazon): From the mowing of the lawn to the splish-splashing of rain puddles, Talia Aikens-Nuñez’s bilingual picture book Escucha Means Listen introduces toddlers and babies to the sweet sounds around them. Take a journey through the world—just listening. Escucha Means Listen helps children discover sounds around them in English and Spanish.
1. What is the book about? This book is about a girl who speaks English and Spanish.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? I liked the pictures and the cover. I liked the one with the lightning. I noticed that two of the pictures were the same – the one of the girl with her finger on her lips. That was my least favorite one because the lips and finger look like drawing [yeah, I don’t know either].
3. What is your favorite part of the book? My favorite part of the book was learning new Spanish words. I had seen some of them before.
4. What is your least favorite part of the book? There was nothing I really didn’t like about the book.
5. Is there anything in the book that don’t make sense? Everything in the book made sense.
6. What did you learn from this book? The book taught me about some Spanish words like escucha which means listen, los hombres which means the men, and qué oyes which means “What do you hear?” Some of the Spanish words sounded a lot like French words that I know like abejas which means “bees”. The French word is “abeilles”.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I liked this book and I think that boys and girls who are 8 years old and younger would like this book.
Son Rating: ★★★★☆
What I liked and disliked: Escucha Means Listen is a sweet bilingual picture book featuring the use of Spanish words and terms which are then defined in English. The beautifully illustrated book features a young girl in various contexts depicting the Spanish concept featured on the page – for example, los perros (the dogs), los hombres (the men), el camión grande (the large truck). I liked the balance between the introduction of the main concept of the book (eschucha, “listen” and Qué oyes? “What do you hear?”) which are frequently repeated, and the use of words representing concrete objects, animals, and people (las campanas “bells”, perros, & niños). It provided a nice mixture of concepts and a great introduction to basic Spanish.
My kids would probably roll their eyes at me but they have run across some of the Spanish words from Dora the Explora and Go, Diego Go, so Spanish is not completely unfamiliar to them. In Canada, when someone talks about “bilingualism”, we generally mean English and French, not Spanish. As noted by my son above, French and Spanish are quite similar and the two languages share similar etymological roots. My son recognized many of the Spanish words as we were reading the book and was able to identify the corresponding French word (even though he just started French Immersion in the last year and a bit).
Given that this is a bilingual picture book for children with little or no exposure to Spanish, I was a bit surprised by the choice of some of the words to include in the book. For example, on nearly every page, the reader is askedQué oyes? (What do you Hear?). On one page, we hear “Vrrr! Vrrr!” and the word being featured is la vecina (the neighbor) but the noise is the neighbor mowing the lawn. “The neighbor” seemed like a strange word to include and further, it didn’t quite fit that the neighbor was making the noise – it really was the lawn mower.
My bottom line: Aside from the one little issue, I do feel that this is a good little book to introduce some basic Spanish words and concepts to young children aged 3+.
Mom Rating: ★★★★☆
* Escucha Means Listen was provided to us free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review.*
About the Author:
Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write lyrical children’s books. These ‘first experience’ books introduce Spanish to children and parents too! Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She, her husband and daughter live on a river in Connecticut with their daughter Isabella.
Where to Buy:
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