January 28, 2008 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Help me find humorous books for kids that will interest them in learning some spanish, ala. Skippyjon Jones.

Not that it's a particularily educational book, but my kids love the energy and humor of 'Skippyjon Jones' but I haven't found anything similar. I'm not strictly looking for a 'learn spanish' book, but rather something that is entertaining and will introduce words and phrases.

I did recently find the incredible resource of Children's Digital Library but without being fluent in the language it's hard to find one similar to what I'm looking for.

Also, I realize there are probably hundreds of these sorts of books out there, but I'm looking for something that I wouldn't mind purchasing and keeping on the shelf. There are too many books of this sort to wade through.

posted by mcarthey to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not familiar with the book you mention, but what about seeing if there are Spanish translations for books that you enjoyed as a kid, or books they have already enjoyed? It's fun to compare them and see the differences. Comic books are a great start as well. I have several years of the X-men in French and they're awesome!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:29 PM on January 28, 2008

Maybe a Richard Scarry book in another language? The humor in these is mostly visual (i.e. easily translatable) and it's good for learning words and phrases
posted by nangua at 2:05 AM on January 29, 2008

Thanks for the current suggestions, but I'm not really looking for a book entirely in another language, but rather a book that is mostly in English but uses spanish words on occasion.
posted by mcarthey at 6:37 AM on January 29, 2008

Skippy Jones is a fun "spanglish" book that my children also enjoy quite a bit. There's at least two other Skippy Jones adventures but we didn't find those nearly as fun as that one with Alfredo Buzzito, the bumblebeeto bandito vs. the Chimichangos. Finding good children's reading in Spanish for our kids has been a challenge, translation of classic English books are usually quite bad or at least losing the cadence and rhythm that makes them so attractive in the first place.

I don't know of any other examples that mix the languages in the way that Skippy Jones does. The three little javelinas is only a bilingüal book as there are others. One time we were in Mexico City and I remember visiting the Gandhi bookstores there that do have a children's section. They were mostly translations from other languages, but maybe they have something worthwhile nowadays, it's been 2-3 years.

One option could be videos where in contrast, they usually do a very good job of translating and making them just as fun in Spanish (Disney movies and even Shrek are quite enjoyable in Spanish). But music-wise, it's even worse, even the classic Cri-cri now sounds quite un-PC, and the current crop of Spanish children's music is atrocious. Oh well, I'll keep refreshing this page in case someone comes up with a treasure we haven't been able to find in six years. Good luck!
posted by tremendo at 4:34 PM on January 29, 2008

I'm not familiar with Skippyjon Jones, but maybe Mice and Beans by Pam Munoz Ryan (and perhaps some of her other books).
posted by hazel at 6:21 PM on January 29, 2008

Some (all?) of the Dora the Explorer books have Spanish phrases in them. I haven't read any of the Skippyjon Jones books, though I suspect that they're far more amusing than the Dora books; the one Dora I've had a quick read through isn't particularly humourous, but might still be entertaining depending on the child's age (ours has lift-up flaps! ooh!). So perhaps they don't quite meet your criteria but I thought I'd throw it out there as an option.
posted by bunyip at 2:59 PM on January 30, 2008

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