Saturday, February 8, 2014
Review: Arte Kids Books
**I was not compensated for this post. I received materials for review purposes. All opinions are my own. **
I love when the mail man brings packages. I especially love it when those packages are filled with books! We received the Arte Kids series of books from Trinity University Press. This bilingual English/Spanish series is a collaboration between Trinity University Press, San Antonio Public Library Foundation and San Antonio Museum of Art.
First of all, these are beautiful books. The colors and images are vibrant and unique. I love the art choices - I feel like it's a very unique perspective, particularly for kids. Rather than the "classic" European artists it's full of mostly Mexican and South American art, ranging from ancient to contemporary. Even though they are board books (yeah for durability!) I think they appeal to all ages. Each includes a section in the back about all the art - the artist, where they are from, when it was created and how it came to the museum. This could really help with extension activities for older kids. It really makes me want to travel to San Antonio just to take Chiquita to visit the museum. It would be so fun to take these books with, like an art scavenger hunt.
Regarding content, each book focuses on a theme like colors, shapes, numbers, or animals. I love the bilingual tiles, "Hello, Circulos!", "Black & Blanco". I feel like by putting those titles they set the books up as a real mix of cultures, not just books that have been translated (I also love that on the title page they say 'in English y Espanol'). They did have all the text both in English and Spanish but it wasn't always a straight translation, (which is good) so the wording made sense in both languages. One fun thing about Spanish though, is that it varies a lot from country to country. I assume the Spanish in these books is more Mexican/Texan, but there were words and phrases I wasn't familiar with. There is a lot of interactive language in the books (i.e. "How many yellow circles can you find?", "Why are the monkeys hiding under the rocks?"). I loved this because it got Chiquita speaking Spanish (or sometimes English, but showing me that she totally understood the Spanish I was speaking). Like the examples I gave, some questions were simple and some more complicated so the books could really be a springboard for conversations. Again, they really could be adapted to all ages, with lots of learning potential.
I know we are going to do some art/craft projects inspired by these books and I can only imagine the fun a teacher could have.