Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Hummingbird Sings and Dances: Latin American Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes

I requested this book and CD to review because it contains a few songs about birds, and those are rather hard to find. As a bonus, the songs are from various Latin American countries and are in Spanish, with English translations.

All of the lyrics are provided in Spanish and English in the back of the book, along with definitions of less common words, like aji, a very hot chili pepper. A map outlines Central America and identifies the countries. Also, while the book includes a CD, it also includes a code to download MP3 files for those who prefer to access the music from a computer or MP3 player.

Only four of the songs nineteen songs relate to birds, although the art frequently includes birds:

  • Canciones del colibri/Songs of the Hummingbird
  • El gallito/The Little Rooster
  • Déjala que se vaya/Let Her Go  (about a dove)
  • Los pollitos/Little Chicks
Additional music selections, including Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding, Los esqueletos/Skeletons, and Rana Cucú/Cuckoo the Frog, make this a great choice for library and preschool storytime use. The music is lively and lyrics share fun vocabulary words like cinnamon and mango in Spanish and English. While not bird-related Los esqueletos/Skeletons teaches time as the skeletons eat at two, tumble down at four, and go for a ride at noon.

The pictures by Argentinian illustrator Mariana Ruiz Johnson are bright and folksy and Grupo Cántaro is a Mexican musical-vocal ensemble founded in 1979. 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher. I receive no compensation for reviewing the book.

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