CANTICOS: LOS POLLITOS
by Susie Jaramillo
Ages 1 to 4
"Los Pollitos Dicen," or "Little Chickies Squeal" is one of the most popular songs in the Spanish speaking world, akin to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in English. This English adaptation of the song is as catchy and lyrical as the Spanish version and sure to engage new audiences not familiar with the original song. The song is an homage to the demanding nature of babies and the unconditional love, care, and warmth given to them by their mommies.
Having bilingual children myself (not Spanish, however), I've kept an eye out for books which try to cover two languages. I was excited to get my hands on this one, not only due to the very cute content, but the idea is simple, yet effective.
Little Chickies Squeal is the basis for this small treasure, a popular nursery rhyme in the Spanish language. Not only is the rhyme something kids will adore--a mother hen finding a way to feed her hungry little chicks--but the idea of taking a rhyme from one culture and introducing it to the other is simply great. From experience, I know that kids tend to hang on to these rhymes from other languages much better and faster than any 'teaching' ever could.
The words are simple, only a few on each page, making it easy to flip and understand the meaning of each one. Even younger listeners won't have a problem grasping the rhyme and learning the words themselves.
The illustrations are simple, colorful and adorable. They fit well to the text, and also make it possible for kids to flip through and enjoy them all on their own. The flap book idea is also precious, one language on each side. It's no problem to turn the book over and see exactly where the coinciding page is in each language. Little readers can peer at each page individually or, probably more likely, stretch out the whole thing and run through it all at once.
Summed up: this is a wonderful, little book which not only lets kids get a taste for another language but helps them learn a treasures from the culture which sticks in the head for years to come--a rhyme. I can only recommend it and think little listeners will adore it.