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How Are You? / ¿Comó estás?

Book review by
Monica Encarnacion, Common Sense Media
How Are You? / ¿Comó estás? Book Poster Image
Simple, attractive bilingual book about making new friends.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids learn simple phrases in Spanish and English.

Positive Messages

There's no language barrier when making new friends -- friendship and feelings are a universal language we all understand.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters are patient and willing to make new friends, regardless of the language barrier.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that How Are You? / ¿Comó estás?, by author-illustrator Angela Dominguez, is a story about new friendships and feelings expressed through language. Although there's ample white space on the pages of this delightful book, the dynamic illustrations portray plenty of action and help tell the story of two endearing giraffes who befriend an ostrich. Despite the obvious differences between them and an apparent language barrier -- the ostrich doesn't seem to speak Spanish so one giraffe translates for the other -- these new friends are able to communicate and successfully express their emotions. This story is a follow up to How Do You Say? / Como se dice? -- a picture book that shares the story of how these two lovable giraffes first met and became fast friends. Now together they're making new friends, and this time their new friend is an ostrich.

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What's the story?

HOW ARE YOU? / ¿COMÓ ESTÁS? is the story of a friendly pair of giraffes -- one Spanish-speaking, the other English-speaking -- who befriend an ostrich. They engage their new friend with an initial "Welcome! Bienvenida!" and move on to questions such as "Como estas? How are you?" And at first it seems the ostrich doesn't have a reply. "Are you shy? ¿Eres timida?" they wonder and the ostrich replies with a simple "No." The curious giraffes go on to seek a more detailed response from their new friend and how she's feeling -- "Are you hungry?... Are you tired?... Are you scared?... Annoyed?" but their questions are always met with the same "No." Exhausted, they ask one final question, and this time the ostrich's reply surprises not only the giraffes but may also surprise the reader. The ostrich is bilingual! It's time to celebrate!

Is it any good?

Author Angela Dominguez does a great job illustrating the fact that some of us speak Spanish, others speak English, and some of us speak both. This easy to follow picture book successfully brings home the message that although we may not all speak the same language, things like feelings and friendship are universal! It's a simple but attractive bilingual book by Pura Belpre Honor recipient Angela Dominguez that will reel young readers in with delightful illustrations and have them learning new phrases in Spanish and/or English.

How Are You? / ¿Comó estás? a great choice for parents and kids to read together, even if they don’t speak Spanish themselves.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the animals characters in How Are You?/ ¿Comóestás?  What are the differences between them? How are they the same? What are they feeling?

  • How do you make new friends? How do you communicate your feelings to others?

  • The characters in this book speak two different language. What language or languages do you speak? How can you communicate with others who may speak a different language than you?

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