31 Dec 2012

PIO PIO by Wakiko Sato and Eigoro Futamata

Wakiko Sato together with Eigoro Futamata created this gorgeous little book about a little chicken and the title is Pio Pio. The Spanish edition is a lovely book by Editorial Corimbo.

The illustrations are delicate, full of details and with a subtle sense of humour. 

But the best thing is that your eyes go from side to side of the two pages, they cover both pages completely making you feel part of the story because there are no boundaries or limits or margins to the illustration.

This little chicken lives happily with his mother and father. But one day he decides to go for a walk:
He meets other creatures and they exchange their languages (isn't that what friendship is all about?). He meets a mouse, a piglet, a frog, a dog, a cat and a tortoise. Thanks to what he gets from the dog he is saved in a moment of danger.

The language is easy with repetitive structures very adequate for children and the last line is a very fun, at least in the Spanish translation by Julia Vinent which is brilliant because it feels like a Spanish book!

A lovely book worth while having and giving.

1 Nov 2012

THE GIRL WHO HATED BOOKS by Majusha Pawagi Illustrated by Leanne Franson

We book lovers just asume our likes to be shared by everybody. How can we? Everyone has their own way to the same pleasures...

Manjusha Pawagi wrote the story and Leanne Franson illustrated it.

19 Oct 2012


Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is the story of a little boy with a long name who lives next door to an old people's home. He is a good boy with a golden heart. He is so kind as to find the things that will help his neighbours and himself.

This is a beautiful story written by someone special, so special as Mem Fox.
The story blends perfectly with the kind and kinaesthetic illustrations of Julie Vivas.

This book comes to prove again that no topics are not suitable for children: it depends on how they are dealt with. 

13 Oct 2012

FLICTS by Ziraldo

Ziraldo is a Brazilian storywriter and educator very well loved in his country for all his books and his work with children and education.

Over 40 years ago he wrote Flicts a story of a colour that is not red, yellow or blue, but only flicts. It is the story of someone who is not admitted but exists and cannot be denied.

English edition
Spanish edition

40th anniversary edition

Which is your favourite cover? I fell in love with the Spanish edition. The editorial group made a good job with this book. Click here to know more about the Spanish edition. You will have to go to Libros and then choose Flicts in the next section.

12 Oct 2012


Kalandraka is the name of the Spanish (Galician) publishing company that received a prize for its editind/publishing quality. A well deserved prize. Their list of books is amazing!



6 Oct 2012


Laurent de Brunhoff continues the work his parents started with the Histoire de Babar in 1931. Jean de Brunhoff gave an image to Babar (an elephant with strong human characteristics). The story was an immediate success in France and two years later it became a classic in the UK. Many years later it is still a joy to read. My mother bought in Paris the animated album for her grandchildren in 2007.

Laurent de Brunhoff gave and gives Babar a long continuity with many titles which make children and adults alike enjoy art and many other disciplines. The video below is very interesting.

30 Sep 2012

THE PENCIL by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman

Another great story published by Walker Books: The Pencil.
Written by Allan Ahlberg and illustrated by Bruce Ingman, it tells the story of a "lonely little PENCIL" who began to draw...
and this pencil drew a boy who asked for more things, which in turn asked for more. But everything was black and white and so the pencil drew a PAINTBRUSH.
 The pencil and the paintbrush worked well together as a team until the drawings started complaining and the pencil had to draw a RUBBER.
I cannot tell you the rest of the story: there is trouble, complication, fun.
I think this book is a must for every child's library together with Harold and the Purple Crayon and Seven Blind Mice.

25 Sep 2012

I REALLY WANT TO EAT A CHILD by Sylviane Donnio and Dorothée de Monfreid

I Really Want To Eat A Child is the British translation of the French Je mangerais bien un infant. The American translation in turn is I'd Really Like To Eat A Child, the Spanish is ¡Me comería un niño!

In any case all translations are surely good because the story is funny as anything can be.

Achilles is a small crocodile who desperately wants to eat a child rather than all the food his parents lovingly prepare him. He is spoilt and wants to have his own way. But he meets a little girl and...
I'm sure you will enjoy this storybook.

The writer is Sylviane Donnio and the illustrator is Dorothée de Monfreid.

18 Sep 2012


Crockett Johnson created Harold a toddler with a great sense of adventure and command in drawing. He can travel anywhere he pleases and manages to escape any difficulty his drawings may happen to bring. The first book to appear in 1955 was Harold and the purple Crayon
The success of this book was so great that it was immediately followed by Harold's Fairy Tale (1956), Harold's Trip to the Sky (1959), Harold at the North Pole (1958), Harold's Circus (1959), A Picture for Harold's Room (1960) and Harold's ABC (1963).

The neatness of these drawings is what attracts me most to this book. I love the way Mr Johnson managed to create many different worlds with lines, hardly any other colour other than purple.

I strongly recommend a visit to the following website:

12 Sep 2012

IT'S A BOOK by Lane Smith

This storybook is a description of what a book is without saying what it is. It is humorous with a twist to irony. The author and illustrator is Lane Smith. He is a Caldecott Award winner for another book I will eventually post about. It is time to watch a good but abridged video of the story:

This book is good for all ages and it can well be used for teaching purposes. Walker Books Australia have this pdf notes which may be useful.

5 Sep 2012

MIFFY by Dick Bruna

Miffy is a female white Dutch rabbit. She was created by Dick Bruna in 1955 so she is 57 years old! She has changed very little over the years, although you may notice the different face and ear shape.
Check the website for all her books and products and if you have time I do recommend audio slideshow in The Guardian in the old master series:

29 Aug 2012

GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

Guess How Much I Love You was written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram in 1994. It is became a modern classic because it is very good, not only for children.

This story you must know: Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare compare and share their feelings in a crystal clear text with the details given by the illustrations.
Big Nutbrown Hare
Little Nutbrown Hare

 It is a perfect book for a quiet bedtime read.
I liked the story when I read it in Spanish. A cared edition and translation by Editorial Kókinos. But I loved it when one of my students at the Teacher Training College, Guadalupe, wrote her final project for my subject on the English version. She was so enthusiastic about it she made us start loving the book. I still keep the copy she and Laura gave me at the end of the year.

22 Aug 2012


Seven Blind Mice was written and illustrated by Ed Young in 1992. Since then many children and adults have enjoyed the artistry of this creator: words and images combine to transform reality but at the same time reflect perception; individuality looses ground before group work and sharing experiences.

Click here for a printable activity from http://www.kizclub.com/ on the three grammar/esl learning issues of this book: days of the week, colours, ordinal numbers

15 Aug 2012

PENELOPE by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben

Penelope is a blue female koala with a strong personality. 

The author is Anne Gutman: her stories are sweet and dear; but the illustrations by Georg Hallensleben are superb: the colours, the shapes and the strokes of the paintbrushes make a fabulous combination.


We have enjoyed her at the farm and at school: pulling the tabs and lifting the flaps. There are many other titles:

8 Aug 2012

PETER RABBIT TALES by Beatrix Potter

PETER RABBIT TALES by Beatrix Potter is a series of twenty-three tales
  1. Peter Rabbit, 
  2. Squirrel Nutkin, 
  3. Tailor of Gloucester, 
  4. Benjamin Bunny, 
  5. Two Bad Mice, 
  6. Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, 
  7. Mr. Jeremy Fisher, 
  8. Tim Kitten, 
  9. Jemima Puddle-Duck, 
  10. Flopsy Bunnies, 
  11. Mrs. Tittlemouse, 
  12. Timmy Tiptoes, 
  13. Johnny Town-Mouse, 
  14. Mr. Tod, 
  15. Pigling Bland, 
  16. Samuel Whiskers, 
  17. The Pie and the Patty-Pan, 
  18. Ginger and Pickles, 
  19. Little Pig Robinson, 
  20. Fierce Bad Rabbit, 
  21. Miss Moppet, 
  22. Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes, 
  23. Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes.
For more information on these tales a visit to this site is a must:


The film Miss Potter is a pleasant story about the relationship between Miss B. Potter and her editor Norman Warme.

This video is the one my children and I enjoyed (thanks to my dad):

31 Jul 2012

FROG AND TOAD by Arnold Lobel

FROG AND TOAD by Arnold Lobel appeared in the 1970s. It is a nice easy read,  a fresh, unsentimental story always with a happy end. The series of the books comprise: Frog and Toad Are Friends (1970), Frog and Toad Together (1972), Frog and Toad All Year (1976), and Days with Frog and Toad (1979). 
It is a very nice book because great care was taken that the illustrations and the story match in simple but clear visuals:

 These sites may prove useful for all the links they provide:
The Spanish translation is very good too: Sapo y Sepo son amigos, Días con Sapo y Sepo, Sapo y Sepo, un año entero, Sapo y Sepo inseparables.

28 Jul 2012

CAN WE PLAY? by Mara van Der Meer

Finding books for children in English in Spain is sometimes a little difficult if you don't want to pay a lot of money. That's why you have to browse all the book offers of the bookshops you know (in my case I'm a regular at La Mar de Letras, El Dragón Lector, Pasajes, Booksellers, Casa del Libro, Top Books or FNAC).
In 2004 I came across Can We Play? by Van Der Meer. I had never heard about the author but that wasn't new, I was learning a lot about contemporary and classic authors for children's literature.

How many evenings did my children enjoy the pictures and the pop-ups. For me it was also exciting.
I still think it is a very convenient book to revise the days of the week and to learn lots of vocabulary on family, games, activities and polite questions and nice answers.

At the Abrams website www.abramsbooks.com I read:
  • About the book
Day after day after day, a little girl asks her family to play with her. All week long, everybody's always too busy—but, oh, the amazing things they promise her they'll do together on Sunday! With exciting flaps and pop-ups on every page, plus a removable miniature book, Can We Play? is perfect for playtime or quiet time any day of the week.

  • About the author
Mara van der Meer studied illustration at Brighton University in the United Kingdom. She lives in London. Her father, Ron van der Meer, is one of the world's most distinguished creators of innovative movable books. He lives in London.
But you can also read about her in 

22 Jul 2012

GALOP by Rufus Seder

My mother brought this book from the States as a present for my children in 2007. We loved it because it moves forward and backwards. And later, when my eldest son had to do a presentation on cinema for school, he used this book together with a praxinoscope to illustrate his point on how we perceive movement.

Rufus Butler Seder is the creator of these images. He is the impersonation of visual intelligence as the one defined by Howard Gardner. If you don't believe me, just read his biography and watch this video.

You can even watch the scanimation at work:

19 Jul 2012


Kevin Henkes created this beautiful story about a kitten in a series of black and white illustrations. Everything about the book is poetic. The story is based on the magical comparison between the full moon and a dish of milk the kitten wishes. The drawings are the perfect visualisation of the story.There are many issues to work with the readers and listeners of this story.

I would like you to read it and enjoy it. Have a look at it. Browse inside the book at Harper Collins'

There are many lesson plans ready on the internet for you to use with your class and children. But first listen to the author:

13 Jul 2012


Why not Eric Carle again? I like the way he talks about Bill Martin in this video:

8 May 2012


Maurice Sendak died May 2012.
My family and I have enjoyed wonderful moments reading your storybooks and looking at your illustrations. We liked Where the Wild Things Are, Mummy and many others:
One day I was looking at some books in Pasajes (the bookshop in Madrid) and I came across the book below. I liked the title: I Saw Esau but what really made me buy it was that I knew the illustrator: Maurice Sendak.

 Look at the pictures that match the rhyme: they're brilliant!

2 May 2012

LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes is a lovely story set in a library:

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren't any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. 

Needless to say this book always reminds me of the fabulous New York Public Library:

7 Apr 2012

OLIVIA THE PIG by Ian Falconer

Ian Falconer created a fabulous and different character in 2001:
A gorgeous piglet full of energy, glamour and exciting ideas about her childhood and ways to have fun. In the ten different books you get to know Olivia and her family.
I like her extravagant manners, enjoy her love of classical ballet and envy her life in New York.


29 Mar 2012


The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.   

This is how Dr. Seuss 's The Cat in the Hat begins. It is a rhyming story about two bored children (written in the first person plural form - we) on a rainy day who suddenly are surprised by the coming of a talking cat  to their house and his extravagant activities and ideas.

 This book written in 1957 was meant to help children read and enjoy it.

Click on the image to go to Dr.Seuss website
  A visit to Seussville will provide more fun and information: it is a must.