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*Margaret & Margarita [bilingual]* by Lynn Reiser

Also by Lynn Reiser:

Play Ball with Me!

Tortillas and Lullabies/Tortillas y cancioncitas


Margaret & Margarita [bilingual]
by Lynn Reiser
Ages 4-8 32 pages Rayo April 1996 Paperback    

When two little girls set out for the park one morning with their mothers, neither is happy about the excursion, expecting to find no one to play with. To their mutual delight, Margaret spies Margarita, and the two are drawn together, enjoying an adventure: Margaret speaks no Spanish, and Margarita not a word of English. Yet, as children will do, the girls quickly find a way to communicate, each in her own language.

The adults are readily aware of the barriers their children face, but, like children everywhere, the girls see only similarities. They set about making each otherís acquaintance, Margaret with her toy rabbit, Susan, and Margarita with her toy kitty, Susana, spending the next hours playing and learning the sounds of another language.Despite this unfortunate accident, the young boy and Old Bo Bear continue on with their lives, as they prepare to let their imaginations guide them a string of adventures. They dress for their journey, gather the necessary provisions (such as a some chocolate syrup and a spoon), and prepare themselves for a wild ride. They meet up with pirates on a large ship, saddle a pony and ride out west, and capture criminals while assuming the role of the sheriffs in a small town. They even travel to vacant lots and constructions sites, exposing themselves to the dirt and the sand.

Meanwhile, the two mothers sit at opposite ends of the park bench, uncommunicative and shy. But by the end of the day, the girls draw their mothers closer, happily introducing them and making plans to meet at the park another day.

A well-constructed bilingual text, the language is facilitated by colorful drawings, creatively arranged to maximize the use of unfamiliar words in this Spanish/English combination. The illustrations are cleverly drawn to enable youngsters to make easy word associations. The concept of building bridges instead of barriers serves the story well, a subtle touch to a thoughtful combination of two cultures.

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  Luan Gaines/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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