Canticos Bilingual Nursery Rhymes: All the Colors / De colores (9781945635274) and Canticos Bilingual Nursery Rhymes: Pin Pon (9781945635281) by Susie Jaramillo. Encantos, 2020.
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3 (All the Colors) / 2 (Pin Pon)
Genre: Board book/concept
What did you like about the book? These cleverly designed board books are reversible: open one side and the text is in English; turn it over for a Spanish version. In All the Colors, bright digital art features cuteness in the extreme – chicks, bunnies, “birdies,” rainbows and a baby elephant, with flaps to lift which reveal a color and the word for the color. Quasi-rhyming text extols the colors and love. In Pin Pon, the baby elephant meets Pin Pon, a character made of cardboard, who nonetheless models washing his face with soap and water and other behaviors that make adults happy, such as using two hands to pick up a cup of milk and nodding right off to sleep. The art here is similarly bright and sweet, with round-cheeked Pin Pon glowing with chubby cuteness. I like that families can read both English and Spanish versions.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The art is commercial looking, as if it belongs on packaging. The cover flap contains advertising for the website, where there are free activities and stickers, and also lots of stuff to buy. Pin Pon is given the job of obedient child to the extreme – He combs his hair and “even though it hurts sometimes, he doesn’t cry at all ..” No crying! He does his homework before going to sleep – wait, aren’t these books for babies? The character is a little robot! Give this little fella some kid-friendly activities!
To whom would you recommend this book? Day cares and public libraries
Who should buy this book? A very supplemental purchase for day cares where bilingual books are at a premium.
Where would you shelve it ? Board books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: August 3, 2020