Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: Gathering the Sun

Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English by Alma Flor Ada
English translation by Rosa Zubizarreta
Illustrated by Simon Silva

This is the story of the fields and the people who work them told through poetry. Each page has a new letter from the Spanish alphabet and a poem describing some part of the migrant farm workers' culture. There is also a translation in English to accompany each Spanish poem.

This book would be a very effective book for using with my young Spanish speaking English Language Learners. They would be able to read the poem in their native language but also see it in English. This would be very helpful for them learning to read and speak in English. It would also be effective to help other students experience Spanish, if they have not be exposed to it. This story provides a good cultural background to this group of migrant farm workers.

The illustrations in this book by Simon Silva are full pages. The colors go from edge to edge. The colors are deep oranges and reds. Blues and greens are also prominent on the pages. The illustrations are very detailed and provide more information about the story. The page about flowers and trees must have one thousand flowers painted on it.

This book is appropriate for children in primary elementary school levels. It could also be effective for any Spanish speaking English Language Learner as well.

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