Monday, February 25, 2019

Martín y Pepe: Beginning Readers in Spanish

Ooo! Today, I have a wonderful treat for those of you who are seeking beginning readers in Spanish for your children. A few weeks ago, an author reached out to me asking me to take a look at her new series in Spanish for children. I agreed and received the most adorable books!

I'm ALWAYS being asked about early readers in Spanish and where can people find them. So this series is especially helpful. The Martín y Pepe series was created specifically for children learning to read in Spanish. These primeros lectores all center around the relationship and experiences of two characters. Martín is a sweet little duck who has just met Pepe, a caring, loveable bear.

Dana, the author, worked closely with her child's school as she created this series (two of her kids attend a Spanish immersion school). And her work reflects her careful attention to detail. The books themselves contain simple vocabulary and include high-frequency words (palabras de uso frecuente) needed for comprehension and fluency. She says she decided to write these stories after her children stopped wanting to read in Spanish after having achieved a certain level of literacy. She said that many of the early readers she was finding felt didactic and did not tell a story. So she tried to create what she and her children wanted.

The first book, Martín y Pepe (aff link), covers all vowel sounds and includes the following high-frequency words: yo, soy, un, y, este. In this storyline, the two characters meet each other for the first time and become friends.

The second book, ¡A Mí Me Gustan Los Tacos!, focuses on the “m” sound, repeats the phrase “a mí me gusta,” and includes the high-frequency words: yo, un, y, que, gusta. This might be my favorite of the three simply because Pepe is telling Martín about all the foods he loves to eat and ends with his favorite: TACOS (which may or may not also happen to be my favorite)! I think children will love this book, too, and you can use it as an introduction to getting your kids to talk (in Spanish) about all the foods they love, too.

The third book, ¡Felíz Cumpleaños Martín!, focuses on the “g” sound, repeats the phrase “yo tengo” and includes the high frequency words (palabras de uso frecuente): yo, la, una, es, y, que, por, gusta, para, tengo, también, nuevo, pero. In this sweet story, Pepe is celebrating Martín's birthday.

And the illustrations. Oh, the illustrations! They are so adorable. Rosa C. Lopez, the illustrator, put together a time-lapse video of how she created one of the illustrations in the book. It's really pretty fascinating. I'm impressed by such talent and how technology allows artists to make their work look exactly the way they want it to look. Watch the video below...

I love Martín's sweet little face and Pepe's happy smile! I just think your little ones will, too. I cannot wait for my youngest child to be old enough to use these books! And if they sound like a good fit for your little ones, you can find them below on Amazon...

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