PPBF: My Friends/Mis Amigos and Botas NUEVAS

Author/Illustrator: Taro Gomi
Publisher: Chronicle Books, English 1990/Spanish 2006
Age Level: 4-8
Themes: growth, animals, Spanish language materials-bilingual
Opening: I Learned to walk from my friend the cat. De mi amigo el gato aprendi a caminar.
Summary: A little girl learns to walk climb and study the earth with help form her friends most of which are animals.


Poor scan – sorry!

Why I like this book: I can’t say I have seen many appealing bilingual books, but I also haven’t been searching them out. The vibrantly colors and simple forms are brilliantly composed in what  might be the perfect book to introduce young readers to bilingual language skills – even for me! (I am still grateful to my great second grade teacher, Mrs. Beck, for teaching us Spanish songs!) I’ve just discovered this is the same author behind a rather famous book – Everybody Poops; he has over 400 titles to his credit, so I shouldn’t have trouble finding more!
Resources/Activities: Talk about friendship; What is a friend? How do you make friends? What can you do with a friend? Can you have more than one?

While we’re on the subject of Perfect Picture Books, I’d like to show you a book I found in the World Languages/Spanish section of my library, that I fell in love with, despite not being able to decipher all the words:

Author/Illustrator: Guido Van Genechten
Publisher: Editorial Juventud, 2002; originally published in Dutch by Clavis Vitgevereij, 1997
Age Level: 2 and up
Themes: new boots
Opening: Jan tiene unas botas NUEVAS.
Summary: A little boy explores his surroundings in his new boots.

Why I like this book: The cover is cute, but the red end pages with hats and planes folded from newspaper sold me! And because the concept is simple, and simply delightful! Read a great interview from someone who must have understood all the words at Little Book Bugs.

For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE

32 thoughts on “PPBF: My Friends/Mis Amigos and Botas NUEVAS

  1. Thanks for the link, Julie! Interesting to see that you can fall in love with the book even if you don’t get all the text! van Genechten’s illustrations are so fun and, well, friendly, that I’m just not surprised! I’m planning a post on some wordless picture books by him, so I’ll keep you posted.

    Take care, Kai


  2. They look so cute and simple. I never thought to get a bilingual one before to practise Spanish, great idea. And maybe kids would like it too 😉


  3. Bilingual books are wonderful. They are used in many schools for dual language programs. When I sold books, companies seemed to be expanding the nonfiction selection, but there weren’t a lot of picture books. This looks like a good one.


  4. Two good bi-lingual books. I like the Dutch one in particular, since I have never seen one in print. It’s so important for children to learn a new language in early elementary school. Statistics show the earlier you learn another language, the easier it is to learn others later on in life. I learned French in my public school’s kindergarten class. To this day, I love French, although I don’t have the opportunity to use it. My teens are using Rosetta Stone French in our home education. I hope they will have the chance to use it someday!


    • I’d be interested to know how you like the Rosetta program. My father kept some french picture books that I poured over when I was very young – which was probably why I chose to take French in HS, but never really learned to speak it well. I learned German as an exchange student, and lucky for me I have a great group of German friends that I meet up with at least once a month, since my German husband couldn’t be bothered!


  5. Thanks for the recommendation, do you think it is too late for my 14 and 16 year old sons? They need all the help they can get in Spanish;)


  6. I want those red BOOTS! I have looked at a lot of bilingual books, and agree that the quality is not always what I would hope. it’s great to see My Friend/Mis Amigos seems a good Sp/Eng choice.


  7. I like bilingual books!! I read with a lot of Spanish speakers and they try to teach me Spanish. I know “Un perra bonita!” and “sientate!” And i like those red boots too! That book looks really cute! I’ll have to look for both of these! Thanks!


  8. Have you read I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada? The Cuban-born author writes books featuring the Latino culture. This picture book tells of a young girl who enjoys the similarities and differences between her English-speaking and Spanish-speaking grandparents. Although I Love Saturdays y domingos is written mostly in English, the conversations between the main character and her Spanish-speaking grandparents are in Spanish.


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