Bilingual is Better

I was recently invited to become one of  Scholastic’s Mom Blog Friends which means that every month,  I get to review one or two books from their Book Club catalogs. I immediately jumped at the opportunity because I wholeheartedly support Scholastic’s mission. For obvious reasons, I’ll be reviewing books from Club Leo.

By the way, if you are not familiar with Club Leo, you’re missing out on a great option to grow your niños bilingual and Spanish home library. This Scholastic Book Club has a diverse selection of books for kids in preK through 6th grade which can be great additions to any bilingual household.

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I guess I must live under a rock. I had no idea Shakira had written a Dora book entitled La aventura del Día Mundial de la Escuela until I saw it on Club Leo’s Spring catalog.

As soon as I did, I knew I wanted to have it. I’ve loved Shakira ever since I first listened to her music back when I was in college — many moons ago — and way before she became a crossover sensation. I was really eager to see how her talent for writing music translated to writing children’s books.

I might be mistaken, but it seems as if Shakira wrote the book in English, which I find kind of strange, since not only is it not her first language, but it’s one that she recently learned. Either way, the translation is well done and, you probably know this by now, that’s a big plus in my book.

The story follows the path that all Dora’s adventures usually do: there’s some kind of problem and Dora and Boots find a way to come to the rescue. In this case, Dora is celebrating World School Day at her school with the help of Shakira. However, the other schools around the world which will be celebrating with them, are lacking all kinds of materials to start the new school year. So, Dora and Boots come to the rescue as each school decides to share some of their materials with the school which needs it most.

My daughter is about to finish preK and will be entering Kindergarten in the fall. We’ve been talking about schools a lot lately and she has a lot of questions about how things work there and what her days will be like. I think she’s excited, but a bit apprehensive about going somewhere new, where she doesn’t know anybody.

While the book’s main lesson is to teach children about the importance of sharing — something which little ones have such a hard time doing — I enjoyed reading Shakira’s book to my daughter because it features different types of schools around the world. The story includes a tree school in Ethiopia, a school in a bus in India, and a boat school in Cambodia. Vanessa was really intrigued by all this and even after we were done reading the book, she wanted to know more.

The story also gave us an opportunity to talk a bit about our world map and where each of these countries is located. I only wished Shakira had included at least one country in Latin America. I think that would’ve made the book complete. I wonder why she didn’t?

But the best thing about the book for me is that part of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Shakira’s renowned Pies Descalzos Foundation dedicated to childhood education.

THE GIVEAWAY

We’re giving away a copy of La aventura del Día Mundial de la Escuela by Shakira. To enter this giveaway, please take a look at Club Leo’s Spring catalog and leave a message letting me know which book you’d like me to review next and why.

This giveaway ends at midnight EST on Sunday, May 15, 2011. Entries/Comments that do not follow the submission guidelines will be invalid and automatically deleted. Sorry, just need to keep it fair. Good luck to all!

Check out the Giveaway Rules.

Disclosure: Scholastic provided me with a copy of the book to review. All opinions are my own.

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