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Our Celebración!

Book review by
Monica Encarnacion, Common Sense Media
Our Celebración! Book Poster Image
Festive rhyming book weaves in Spanish words.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Gives reader a glimpse into Latinx culture and celebrations. Teaches 50 Spanish words, uses rhyming words, and includes glossary and pronunciation guide at the end.

Positive Messages

Celebrations with friends, families, and neighbors bring joy. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

A positive view of Latinx culture and celebrations.

Violence & Scariness

 

Language

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Susan Middleton Elya's Our Celebración!, illustrated by Ana Aranda, is a vibrant picture book that features a large parade with fantastic floats, marching bands, fire engines, and more. It's a community celebration for all to enjoy! The story's told mostly in English but weaves in Spanish words. The text is filled with lines that rhyme, and sometimes an English word rhymes with a Spanish word and vice versa. A glossary in the back of the book explains all 50 of  the Spanish words used in the text, and offers a helpful pronunciation guide.

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What's the story?

OUR CELEBRACIÓN! is a festive storybook in which a community heads out to celebrate summer together. On a sunny day, the celebration features a large parade and brings families and neighbors together. There's also plenty of delicious food to try. Parade goers enjoy lemonade, watermelon, tacos, and ice cream. Readers follow along the parade route with a family of six as the festivities unfold. Bands of musicians play clarinets, saxophones, flautas, trumpets, and more march by. The corn princess waves as her float goes by. And when a quick rain shower comes, the spectators duck for cover, and a colorful rainbow appears after the rain. Night falls and back in the main plaza the festivities end with fireworks. Pop, pop, pop! Bon, bon, bon!

Is it any good?

Engaging text and whimsical illustrations make this a great book to enjoy while learning some Spanish. Author Susan Middleton Elya beautifully exposes young readers to simple Spanish vocabulary, beautifully woven into the rhyming lines of this book. Ana Aranda's bright and festive illustrations in Our Celebración! are eye-catching and inviting, ready to delight young readers. However, the text may be a bit much for a beginning reader to read on their own, especially if they are not bilingual and are encountering these Spanish words for the very first time. A Spanish language learner at the beginner level may be able to look at the pictures for clues and use them to easily decipher the new Spanish words.

This a great book for families to read together as an introduction to Spanish vocabulary or as a celebration of language and culture for native Spanish speaking families.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different ways in which families and communities celebrate, just like the characters in Our Celebración! What parades or other large celebrations have you attended in your community or neighborhood? 

  •  What/when do you celebrate as a family? As a community? 

  • Read through the glossary together at the back of the book and discuss the different ways in which we celebrate. Can you recall a recent party or fiesta? What did you do during this celebration?

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Book details

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