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JourneyForth Spanish-English Picture Books Review
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JourneyForth books offers four Spanish-English picture books that are appropriate for young readers. One of our veteran homeschooling moms of 27 years (and counting), HomeWorks by Precept Consultant Belinda Parrish, enjoyed reviewing the Carlitos picture books and shares her review here.

Cover used with permission from [¡Buenos Dias, Carlitos!] by Melody Moore Holmes. © [1999], BJU Press. (available from JourneyForth Books, a division of BJU Press, at

I am not a Spanish speaker. I am a through-and-through English speaker for all of my 55 years of age. Having said that, ¡Buenos Dias, Carlitos! and ¡Buenas Tardes, Carlitos! were fun to read and engaging. The author’s stated goal is to engage the reader in such a way that the reader “thinks in Spanish”. She attempts to accomplish this by providing a minimal amount of English while presenting the story in Spanish. I have to say that I think the approach worked for me somewhat as I found that I was not doing the “translation in my head” thing by the time I was nearing the end of the second book. I suspect a younger brain may make the transition even faster.

The author, Melody Holmes, provides nice little clues by giving vocabulary and the picture to go with the vocabulary so you can do some of the translation without cheating and looking at the back of the book where there is a line by line translation for each page. So even if you don’t get everything that is being said by the book’s characters you can get the gist of the conversation from the vocabulary pictures and the flow of the story. I think this would be a lot like learning a foreign language by living in the culture.

The author also provides some pronunciation hints at the beginning of the books which may be helpful to those who have been exposed enough to Spanish speaking friends or acquaintances. Sometimes the word or phrase may be familiar to you, but you just have to hear it to recognize it. I think this part would require a little more practice.

There is a little fun activity in the back of each book, so you get a lot out of each book if used as intended.

Cover used with permission from [¡Buenas Tardes, Carlitos!] by Melody Moore Holmes. © [2002], BJU Press. (available from JourneyForth Books, a division of BJU Press, at Editor’s Note: ¡Buenas Tardes, Carlitos! is a sequel to ¡Buenos Dias, Carlitos! and teaches Spanish vocabulary for household chores and the names of animals while ¡Buenos Dias, Carlitos! has a theme of learning Spanish vocabulary for weather and clothing. Both books feature sidebar picture vocabularies and full Spanish-to-English translations.

Cover used with permission from [El Pato Paco] by Anna Sumabat Turner and Beth Kitching. © [1993], BJU Press. (available from JourneyForth Books, a division of BJU Press, at

There are two additional Spanish-English picture books available through JourneyForth: El Pato Paco and Rosa la Osa. El Pato Paco: A First look at Spanish teaches the Spanish alphabet, numbers, colors, telling time, animal names, and additional Spanish vocabulary. It also includes printed music for two Spanish songs and several coloring sheets of the book characters. It is also available on CD-ROM, which includes an interactive storybook, games, puzzles, and more.

Cover used with permission from [Rosa la Osa] by Anna Sumabat Turner and Beth Kitching. © [2001], BJU Press. (available from JourneyForth Books, a division of BJU Press, at Rosa la Osa is a simple introduction to Spanish vocabulary in a fun hide-and-seek format. Interesting and age-appropriate illustrations make this an engaging book for little ones.

All JourneyForth Books are eligible for special pricing and free shipping when you order through a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant.

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