When I stop in different countries, I visit places and learn about life in those countries. I meet people. I also try to learn their language.
Pilot Pete is ready for another adventure – destination: Mexico!
On the ride over, Pilot Pete teaches his passengers (aka you!) some common phrases to use once you get there.
And once the plane is landed, immediately the reader gets to meet new friends:
Look! ¡Miren! Something is moving. It’s jumping! In fact it’s jumping right towards us!
A little jumping bean named Panchito comes up and gives you a tour of Mr. Villa’s farm.
Then, you get to go to the market and join a party….and at the party, something amazing happens!
Finally, la piñata breaks open. Out comes los caramelos, and out jumps Panchito!
What a fun surprise!
At the end of the book, there’s plenty of trivia and activities to keep you and yours busy.
People in Mexico have been making masks for thousands of years. Masks were used for religious ceremonies. Today, they are worn during festivals and some dances.
Overall, I thought this was a cute and fun book.
I like how the book first establishes a few conversational phrases and then jumps right into the story about the little jumping bean (which, by the way, did you know a jumping bean jumps because there’s a little larva inside, making it move? Cause I didn’t until today!).
The short story is fun and visually interesting – Panchito is such a cute little bean and the story used a lot of Spanish words (though always with English translations or surrounded by enough context clues to help a clueless reader).
After the story, the author give a brief overview of the country in the Culture Corner – where you get to learn more about the things mentioned in the story (like jumping beans and las piñatas).
There’s lots of activities at the back as well – which look like they could be a fun little educational adventures – like a treasure hunt at a supermarket (where you try to find all the Spanish vocab terms) or a mask-making activity at the end.
This wasn’t too apparent for me, because I took a few years of Spanish when I was in high school, but an accent or pronunciation guide would be useful for parents and children delving into this book blind (aka no prior experience with Spanish). Though, the book does have an online audio component, so that should help!
Overall, I thought this book worked really well for giving a young child a beginner’s introduction to a different language – especially considering it was so short!
With thanks to the author for sending a free copy in exchange for an honest review