Bilingual is Better

Editor’s note: When Sand Dune Books contacted us about doing a review of their products, both Ana and I felt neither of our daughters were old enough for us to fill out these keepsake journals and do a fair and truthful review. But, we absolutely loved the idea behind the journals, so we decided to give one to my sister, Gloria, to fill it out for her 19-year-old daughter (mi ahijada, Veronika) who goes to school in Florida.

There are many ways to record and share your family history – most common are photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.  I love what a photograph can convey, but I have always been particularly interested in the stories that go with those pictures.  Throughout my life, I have asked loved ones to share with me their memories and experiences about our family, traditions, and history.  I have heard stories that were inspiring, moving, and enlightening about myself and my ancestral past.  It is only when I try to recall those memories that I wish I had written them down.

Sand Dune Books has published a series of question-and-answer journals to record and share family history, anecdotes, and memories.  Most of their journals are printed in English, but now the company has released two versions in Spanish, “Entre tú y yo Mamá” and “Entre tú y yo Papá.”  The journal is meant to be given to a particular family member who answers personal yet fun questions about themselves, their childhood, and so on.  Once completed, the journal becomes a handwritten memory book to be cherished for years to come.

I recently received the “Entre tú y yo Mamá” journal so I could fill it out and give it to my 19-year-old daughter.  The spiral-bound journal has a hard cover and it lays flat.  There are six sections filled with questions covering several stages of my life – from the time when I was a little girl, to my adolescent years, to my story as a mother and as a wife.  In today’s world where e-mailing, texting, blogging, and Tweeting is the norm, it was refreshing to communicate using pen and paper!  The questions were thought-provoking, and I had plenty of room to record my answers.  There are some blank pages in the back for additional notes.  Spanish is my first language – I thought the questions were well written and the grammar was correct.

One of my favorite sections was “Acerca de Mí,” where I noted memories of when I was pregnant with my daughter, my thoughts and feelings when she was born, and how much she’s made me laugh (and also made me nuts!) through the years.  My other favorite section was “Mi Papá” because I had the chance to share with my daughter memories of her father and I before she was born, like where we met and where we had our first date.  This section was particularly meaningful for me, as my daughter’s father and I have been divorced for many years.  Now my daughter will have a handwritten record of the many great times we had together as a family.

I enjoyed the whole process – recalling the memories, writing them down, and reading the journal afterwards.  The fact that I got a chance to write in Spanish was a plus, and I know my daughter will be practicing her mother’s native tongue every time she reads it.


We’re giving away one “Entre tú y yo” keepsake journal to one lucky winner. For your chance to win, please visit Sand Dune Books and come back here to tell us what other keepsake journals called your attention and why.

That’s all you have to do to enter this giveaway. If you want to up your chances at winning, then this is how you can get additional entries (only after you’ve completed the step above):

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This giveaway ends Sunday, November 21 at midnight EST and you must have a valid US address to enter.

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