The second bilingual story hour for Once Upon a Cuento fell on April 1 or April Fool’s Day. This provided a plethora of books geared towards funny situations. It was not difficult to decide to use Mo Willems as my main author. He has created such a great variety of hilarious characters and his books are widely available in English and Spanish. The hilarity is not lost in translation. This also allowed me to showcase our “popular English language fiction translated to Spanish section”…the proper genre eludes me.
One of my unwritten, personal goals was reached during this storytime (I will get to that after I ramble). I will start by saying that on Saturday it was absolutely beautiful outdoors…the first sunny, warm day in who knows how long in northern Illinois. Usually this means a lackluster crowd. I anxiously waited, wondering if people would still consider coming to the library on such a day. I was pleasantly surprised to see some familiar faces as well as a few new ones! It was definitely a smaller audience but I felt that the group had so much personality it was hard to notice the smaller crowd (fifteen participants in all).
Anyhow, the heartwarming moment was when a second grade boy (I found out by indirect library sleuthing) proudly stated that he spoke Spanish as well as English and was overly excited about being in the story hour. He came with his mother and grandmother. They were seated off to the side as he happily came to the front. He elaborated that his father was from Honduras. He also offered to help me read the book, haha, leaving me to internally question my Spanish accent.
This proves my point that story hour can be for ANYONE. Developing a love and acceptance of books is for EVERYONE. He was an older child, male and bilingual. In the reading world the cards are stacked against boys so any effort to involve them in the quest to love reading is a WIN. Boys and Books Below is an excerpt from the linked article.
According to Schwartz, the boy who reads the sports page or instruction manual needs to be applauded. “The reading that boys do should not be dismissed as inconsequential even though it often does not include the novels and other traditional materials usually read by girls,” Schwartz says. “The genres preferred by boys can be equally helpful in their development of reading, thinking, and problem- solving skills, and should be considered key resources in their education.”
Teachers who allow boys to see the rich variety of forms that the written word can take may help to create more enthusiastic readers. Librarians also can play a key role in providing male-enticing reading materials.
Back to the process…
We read Mo Willems, Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus/No Dejes Que la Paloma Conduzca el Autobus…exceptionally cheesy and a complete favorite by all ages. The kids all acknowledged they knew the story but were very happy to hear it again. There were also plenty of back up books to choose from in English and Spanish in his popular Elephant and Piggie series.
Afterwards we played a high energy game of “Pato, Pato, Paloma” or “Duck, Duck, Pigeon” to keep the silly theme alive and tweaking the names to add Spanish. I forgot how much fun it is to be a kid! I also created a few felt pieces to use as visual aids during the reading. Surprisingly, we did not have an English copy of Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus, so I crafted a few talk bubbles as well. The paloma had interchangeable felt eyes resulting in more laughs. A silly time was had by all.