March 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Cántale a tu bebé by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer | SLJ Review

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redstarFINK, Cathy & Marcy Marxer. Cántale a tu bebé. illus. by James Nocito. 32p. w/CD. Community Music. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780692821459.

Incorporating music and play into curricula and programming is essential to developing early literacy skills in young children. There is a shortage of quality, monolingual Spanish books that proactively promote the use of one’s first language at home, which is a sociolinguistic precursor to successful language development. This indispensable guide offers plenty of practical early literacy suggestions and easy, fun songs and activities for Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers to create a rich, musical early literacy environment at home. The authors successfully emphasize that all caregivers in a child’s life should feel empowered to sing and play at home—in Spanish or English—not only to encourage practical skills but also to foster joy, connection, and love. What makes this book truly special is the picture book format, which makes it ideal for sharing with children, and its illustrations, which depict multiracial and multiethnic family members of all ages. Especially wonderful are the tips included in the book’s first pages, which are written from the perspective of baby: “¡Me encanta oír tu voz! (I love to hear your voice!)” The book also features a sing-along CD. VERDICT This essential addition to any early literacy collection will be valued and cherished by educators, caregivers, and children.–Natalie Romano, Denver Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2018 issue.

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