Monday, January 22, 2007

Bebe Goes Shopping

Elya, Susan Middleton. 2006. BEBE GOES SHOPPING. Ill. by Steven Salerno. San Diego: Harcourt. ISBN 015205426X [Suggested Grade Levels K-3]

Any mother who has ever shopped with a youngster will enjoy this tale, as will any child who has ever accompanied a parent to the grocery store. Elya’s rhyming text brilliantly incorporates bolded Spanish vocabulary as Mama and Bebe progress through aisles of a “supermercado.” The lyrical Spanish, the consistent rhythm, and the wonderful rhyme make it an entertaining read-aloud. Children will delight in Bebe’s mischievous antics while strapped into a shopping carrito. From grabbing a jar of chocolate-covered pickles to eating a piece of the shopping list, Bebe definitely keeps Mama on constant guard.

Salerno illustrates the bubbly and savvy Mama in a vivid and shapely dress (a vestido bonito) and a black swinging ponytail. Yet her ingenuity is equally matched by the curly-topped Bebe with rosy cheeks. The pictures romp alongside the text perfectly. A 32-word glossary, cheerfully illustrated in “muchos colores,” is included. Simple phonetic pronunciations of each of the Spanish words and phrases are provided and Little Bebe is even there to brighten what could have been a mundane part of the book.

Since Bebe’s experience in the grocery store is so typical of youngsters, readers might be tempted to relate their own supermarket experiences. These could be recorded or written as a class memoir. Follow-up the story by creating an illustrated Spanish dictionary divided by neighborhood places: post office, bank, schools, etc.

Books about grocery stores:
Krull, Kathleen. SUPERMARKET! ISBN 0823415465
Leeper, Angela. GROCERY STORE. ISBN 1403451699

Books that promote Spanish to younger children:
Cirker, Hayward. SPANISH PICTURE WORD BOOK. ISBN 0486277798
Elya, Susan Middleton. SAY HOLA TO SPANISH. ISBN 1880000644

By Rebecca McKee

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