SUSAN MIDDLETON ELYA is the author of more than twenty picture books for children. She has degrees in Spanish and elementary education from Iowa State University, and she taught Spanish for many years. Elya is known for blending English and Spanish to create clever, lively, rhyming texts, A native of Iowa, she now lives in Danville, California.
This second volume by the creators of Say Hola to Spanish introduces 70 rather haphazard vocabulary words strung together by sing-song rhymes and acted out by a menagerie of comically dressed critters. The teaching technique, largely dictated by what completes the rhyme, combines forthright word identification along with those learned in context by examining picture clues. For example, accompanying an illustration of a marching band and a scissors-wielding mouse are the words: "Musicians are músicos. Flags are banderas. Please don't run when using tijeras." Many definitions are clear from the graphic interpretations, but others may require reference to the glossary at book's end. The playful design scatters the text throughout Lopez's gouache and colored-pencil two-page spreads; the most effective scenes group the words thematically, such as one of a train, plane, bus and truck approaching a village. Lopez provides images bound to aid early elementary students' retention and recall of these Spanish words. Ages 4-10. (Oct.)
Gr 1-4‘A rhyming text and bright cartoon illustrations introduce 72 Spanish words in this follow-up volume to Say Hola to Spanish (Lee & Low, 1996). The words seem chosen more for their rhyming qualities than from any logical consideration; e.g., the inclusion of guitars, tubas, oranges, and grapes on the same page‘tubas rhymes with uvas. The meaning of most words can be deduced from the pictures, though in some cases, such as juguetes and muñeca (toys and doll), the objects referred to are not obvious. A glossary with pronunciation guides helps verify what readers may have to guess otherwise. Katherine Farris's Let's Speak Spanish (Dutton, 1995) as well as Rebecca Emberley's Let's Go/Vamos and My day/Mi dia (Little, Brown, 1993) present a wider vocabulary in a format that is easier to follow, though both are less suited for reading aloud. Hank DeZutter's Who Says a Dog Goes Bow-Wow (Dell, 1997) introduces 16 languages in story form. It is superior in illustrative terms. Despite the drawbacks presented by the eclectic word choices and slightly garish illustrations, Say Hola is an entertaining, albeit additional, purchase.‘Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA