¿Habla Español?

A number of new and previously published titles reappear in Spanish-English editions. Rosemary Wells's Only You (2003) now appears as Only You/Sólo Tú, trans. by Teresa Mlawer. According to PW's review of the book's original edition, it "successfully models parent-child interactions with a loving message to attract readers young and old." Now this gentle tale can be used as a beginning language resource as well. (Viking, $14.99 24p ages 6 mos.-5 yrs. ISBN 0-670-03692-7; Mar.)

Lulu Delacre collects and illustrates comforting lullabies, in Spanish and English, in Arrorró, Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games. The rhythmic poems—presented side by side in both languages—also offer a line of simple instructions for how to play games with each. The end of the book provides sheet music (with arrangements by Cecilia Esquivel and Diana Sáez) so youngsters can sing along with the rhymes. Full-bleed spreads and panel illustrations convey many tender moments, such as toddlers sleeping on luminous clouds set against a rich blue sky in "Lindo Angelitos" ("Lovely Little Angels"). (Lee & Low, $16.95 32p ages 6 mos.-5 yrs. ISBN 1-58430-159-7; Mar.)

With one picture per page and a one-word text to identify it, four hand-size board books by Mandy Stanley in the All Aboard series introduce children to simple concepts and vocabulary words. All are available in an English-only as well as a dual-language Spanish-English edition. On the Move (Vamos de viaje), for instance, features large pictures of a ship, bicycle, stroller and other modes of transport, shown bright and boldly outlined against single-color backgrounds. The same format applies to Perfect Pets (Mascotas maravillosas), In the Park (Vamos al parque) and At the Pool (Vamos a la piscina). (Kingfisher, $3.95 each 12p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-7534-5749-0; 5748-2; -5750-4; -5747-4; bilingual ed. -5812-8; -5813-6; -5811-X; -5810-1; Apr.)

Another pair of board books is also offered in English and Spanish-English editions: I Love My Mommy Because... (Quiero a mi mamá porque...) and I Love My Daddy Because... (Quiero a mi papá porque...) by Laurel Porter-Gaylord, illus. by Ashley Wolff. Children may well identify with the baby animals pictured, all of whom love their parents for all that they do for their children, whether it be a daddy emperor penguin that "keeps me safe and warm" or a mother panda that "gives me great big hugs." (Dutton, $6.99 each 24p ages 2-up ISBN 0-525-47247-9; -47250-9; bilingual ed. -47248-7; -47251-7; Mar.)

Nancy Carlson's tale of first-day-of-school excitement now appears in bilingual format—Look Out, Kindergarten, Here I Come!/ ¡Prepárante, kindergarten! ¡Allá voy!, trans. by Teresa Mlawer. The book features the original English text above each page's framed drawing, and the Spanish translation at the bottom. Henry, a mouse who's "been getting ready for this day all year," preps for his big adventure while peppering his mother with questions about what he'll be doing. Her answer is always a cheery scenario—distinguished by a cloud-like border—to reinforce Henry's confidence. (Viking, $15.99 32p ages 3-up ISBN 0-670-03673-0; Mar.)

A vibrant Spanish-English paper-over-board book, Piñata! by Rebecca Emberley gives a brief history of the piñata's role as a party game, followed by all the goodies with which to stuff one: "We're putting in candies in beautiful wrappers/ Ponemos dulces en envolturas bonitas." Each photographic spread features carefully arranged trinkets and other details against a bright red background. Emberley provides a quick guessing game using the aforementioned articles and gives steps for creating piñatas at the end of the book. (Little, Brown, $14.95 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-316-17412-2; Apr.)

Two fairy tales retellings add to an established bilingual series: Thumbelina/Pulgarcita by Caterina Valriu, illus. by Max, which follows the big adventures of the diminutive girl accompanied by Spanish artist Max's black-outlined, poster-like illustrations, and Puss in Boots/El gato con botas by Francesc Boada, illus. by José Luis Merino, starring the resourceful feline who helps his master impress the king and wed a princess; Merino's illustrations utilize earth-toned colors and light spongy and streaky textures. (Chronicle, $13.95 each 24p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-8118-3927-3; -3923-0; paper $6.95 each -3928-1; -3924-9)

A loving depiction of a child's first year of life, Te Amo Bebé, Little One by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Maribel Suárez, incorporates a scattering of Spanish language and Mexican influence. Cheery watercolor scenes of mother and child at the beach, at the country fair listening as mariachis play or in a rocking chair on a tropical winter night ("beneath la luna, smiling bright") accompany an affectionate refrain (the third line changes to fit the scene): "I love you once. I love you twice./ I love your more than beans and rice./ I love you more than rain or sun,/ Te amo bebé, little one." (Little, Brown, $15.95 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-316-61410-6; Apr.)

American Girl Encores

Favorite characters and formats return in a quartet of American Girl titles. Furry friends Coconut and Licorice are featured in the Best Friends Kit: Games and Goodies for Friends to Share, illus. by Casey Lukatz, which contains two booklets in the left-hand pocket of a resealable portfolio: a "Best Friends Fun Guide" with activity and party suggestions, and a "Party Memories Book" for recording the festive occasions. Stowed in the right-hand pocket are pages of stickers, a mini-autograph book, a tiny dice game and deck of cards, plus coupons and envelopes to give to friends. (Pleasant/American Girl, $9.95 ages 7-up ISBN 1-58485-880-X; Mar.)

Also in the miniature category, the cover of the spiral-bound Pages and Pockets: Four Mini Books for Secrets and Stuff, illus. by Anne Keegan Higgins, divides in quarters to reveal four tiny books that prompt girls to write in the aptly named About Me; About Life; About Friends; and About School, which offer places to paste photos and jot notes about their lives. Magnets allow the four covers to close securely. (Pleasant/American Girl, $12.95 96p ages 8-up ISBN 1-58485-873-7; Mar.)

Micro Minis: Create Teeny Tiny Rooms with Your Own Style and Flair! by Linda Goossens offers both the ideas and some materials for creating "dream rooms" at the near-molecular level. A hardcover carrying case houses a softcover book with instructions and pictures of tiny pieces of furniture and accessories with which to form bedrooms, bathrooms, poolside patios and more. A sealed plastic container holds a treasure trove of materials of all shapes and sizes to get girls started. (Pleasant/American Girl, $17.95 48p ages 9-up ISBN 1-58485-872-9; Mar.)

Continuing the mini theme, Mini Mysteries: 20 Tricky Tales to Untangle by Rick Walton, illus. by Lauren Scheuer, prompt readers to follow clues in the 20 short mysteries happening at Lincoln Middle School. Perforated flaps at the back of the book hide the answers to each of the riddles: Who is trying to sabotage the student council campaign? Who really wrote a secret love letter to Matt? (Pleasant/ American Girl, $7.95 paper 80p ages 9-up ISBN 1-58485-871-0; Mar.)