Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Storytime Challenge:Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, Que Ves Ahi? by Bill Martin

It's been awhile since I have contributed to the storybook challenge. I haven't stopped reading to my little ones, just haven't posted about it.

I actually have a little challenge of my own happening right now. I am trying to teach my middle son Spanish.The background on the whys will be in one of my next posts.

One of my biggest goals in this is to get my son reading the language. Reading is, in my opinion, the key to learning any language. More on that in the next post!

So, in search of books. Well, my mom asked if she could buy presents for my kids. Yes, but they have to be books. Buy Spanish books for Nico, please. (See? I said please.) After a little grumbling about trains and tea sets, she agreed, and set off for Barnes and Noble. 

Well, I don't know if you have perused B&N for Spanish books for children, but there just isn't a lot at these stores. She bought several, but they were either too difficult or too boring for my son. He's a beginning reader in English and more than, say, twenty Spanish words on a page is overwhelming. 

So, I returned quite a few and got a gift card. Then I got online. Now, there are a TON of books in Spanish for beginners!

I selected, among others, a few books by Bill Martin. He wrote Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? I purchased the Spanish version: Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí?

I must admit, I never looked at these books in English. My boys were interested in trains, specifically Thomas, so I never looked for other things to read to them. I am so glad I got these!

After I received the books, I flipped through them to see if these would help me, or I should just pass them on as pretty books to my 2 year old. 

They are perfect! The illustrations are very pretty (or as mi suegro me dijo, "Que lindo!", and then began yelling about the weather or something. Los Argentinos. They yell. A lot. Anywhere. We go to a restaurant with my in-laws. "This bread is good. My mother made bread like this." ~ "Your mother never made bread like this." ~ "Hey! I think I know what my mother made!" ~ "How do you know what she made??!! You were never home!!! Always off having fun!!" ~ "FINE, MY LOVE!! FINE!! <mumbling> I don't know what I am talking about?! This woman doesn't know anything!" Then they both look at me and roll their eyes at the other one...) Uhhh...where was I? Oh, yeah. Books. Yes. Pictures. Yes. The pictures are very pretty, but the good thing is they don't distract!

This is exactly what I need! These books help in several ways: building vocabulary, learning colors, verb conjugation (you see, I see, they see, we see), and the repetition allows Nico to get comfortable with sounds and the rhythm of reading. 

At first, I read these to him, only asking him to read one word on each page. Then I had him read the "Animal, animal" que ves ahi? parts alone. Last night he read the entire book ALONE! It took for. ever. But he did it. I was sooooo proud of him!

But did Nico enjoy reading it? Let's ask him.

Nico, do you like this book? Oh, yeah! Yeah!

What is your favorite part? The bear. It's meat-eatery.

Do you want to read it again? Yeah.

What language are you reading? Spanish.

Are you happy that you can read in Spanish? Yes. Because... Because I want to talk in Spanish.

Yep, I think we are making progress! Whew!

How about you? Are you reading any good books? Do your in-laws yell in restaurants?


  1. Gosh-- I forgot all about the storytime challenge! I'll have to get on the ball!

    Your in-laws sound fun-- like a sitcom! My in-laws were yellers too but not in public-- some of the things that set them off were hysterical.

    So cool you are teaching your kids Spanish. Do they pick up some just by hearing it spoken by family?

    We have the english version of this book-- I think I will take it to school to use with my lang/vocab delayed kids-- Repetition is amazing for language learning.

    Sorry about taking so long to comment-- my vision is still nutty.

  2. I know, things have been crazy for everyone I think! I had forgotten about the challenge too. These lazy days of summer aren't so lazy.

    My husband doesn't speak Spanish too much around them. 'Course he's at work anyway. But living here in Texas, they need to speak it! My other son is in a dual language program at school, so he's bilingual. But my in-laws do speak it. That helps.

    That must be very frustrating to not be able to see clearly. Ugh!
    Hope you recover fully soon!

  3. It's excellent that you are doing this. That second language is a gift that expires, so to speak. Children should start as early as possible to take advantage of their brain's language plasticity before it starts to atrophy! ...and it's fun...

  4. Nice blog! I'm following, follow back?


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