Firstly, I wish to say thank you to Share-a-story-shape-a-future for their great initiative last week of writing prompts, and for which my blog post last saturday won 4th prize in their competition. Thanks also to MrsP for the gift. Do check out the other winners and their great posts especially my friend, Beth, who won third place for her post on My Letter to Anne Shirely.
I am making the most of the fact that our bilingual (French/English) International School Library has a strong section for other languages and today’s selection comes from our Spanish Primary collection. Books 16-18 in the Read to me Picture Book Reading Challenge.
Book 16 El Capitán Croissant by Luis Fretas and Carlos Leiro, illustrated by O’Kif
Captain Croissant is written by an Argentinean author (our wonderful Spanish teacher is Argentinean – hence the great variety of Spanish speaking authors in our library). The front cover has an inviting illustration of a crazy looking admiral with a huge croissant-shaped hat descending to his eyeballs; we know we are in for a silly, sailing adventure. One day a strong wind blows Captain Croissant’s lowly vessel into the dangerous monster-infested waters of the Peloponnese Sea near Greece. An encounter with a gorgeous siren and some very funky looking pirates look like the end of the admiral’s voyage. But, it is in fact a concoction by the ship’s chef that saves the day. This is a really quirky but humorous tale.
Book 17 Mi Reino por un Caballo by Ana Maria Machado (a Brazilian author, though this book is in Spanish not Portuguese) and illustrated by Elbio Arismendi.
The title, “My Kingdom for a Horse” has one already inquisitive even before beginning the story. Indeed this is a poetic tale inspired from Shakespeare for children from around 4-8. Little Prince Richard just loved the jousting competitions and longed for his wooden horse to be the real thing. The brave little prince does not hesitate to offer his aid against the giants and dragons threatening the people. However what was the point of inheriting a future kingdom when what he needed right now was a horse! This little prince did not realize that there was magical power in the utterance of these words. I think I will let you discover the rest of the story. This would be a fun and not too complicated read if you have children learning Spanish!
Book 18 La Princesa y el Pirata by Alfredo Gómez Cerdà (Spanish author) illustrated by Teo Puebla
Although an album, this really is a text for older children from 8-10 I would suggest, as the book alternates with half pages of text and full pages of dusky, shadowy, pastel illustrations of times gone by. A trail of princes attempts to woo the princess of the ivory and silver tower but none of them manage to inspire any interest in the damsel. That is until one day she spots a pirate ship on the distant horizon. This is a classic fairytale scenario and style but not the classic hero and heroine! An atypical twist to the classic fairytale, which should appeal to the more sophisticated older reader.
EDIT: My timing was off this week as today Italy is celebrating its 150 years of unification and if I had been thinking I should have reviewed some Italian books. Ah well!