25 Nov 2017



Valentina is the best dancer in Mendoza. She longs to dance at the Tango Day Celebration in Buenos Aires. But she needs a partner to dance with. She's heard that Fernando can tango but will she find him in time?

Valentina es la mejor bailarina de tango en Mendoza. Ella quiere bailar en el Festival del Tango en Buenos Aires. Pero necesita un compañero con quien bailar. Ha escuchado que Fernando baila el tango ¿pero lo encontrará a tiempo?
- Back Cover Blurb

Valentina was a brilliant dancer, the best in Mendoza. 

Valentina era una brillante bailarina, la mejor de Mendoza.

- First Sentence

"Would you like to be my partner?"
"How kind of you to ask, but no thank you. I'm a penguin and I don't dance. I waddle. .......
- Memorable Moment, page unnumbered

SOURCE ... Received with thanks from the author on Book Connectors (FaceBook).

READ FOR ... Not applicable.

MY THOUGHTS ... A little bit of school girl French, enough German to say please and thank you, where are the toilets, where can I get some chocolate? and, oddly enough where is your cat/dog? - you know, all of the important things. But no, no Spanish whatsoever. I went to school at a time when a second language wasn't taught until you got to 'senior' school at eleven and even then, allowed to drop it at thirteen, many of us only spent a mere two years learning another language and in my case that language was French.

But I digress ...

A great idea for young English speakers learning Spanish or indeed for young Spanish speakers learning English. Fernando Can Tango! is a  bilingual story written in both English and Spanish. Ideal as a fun read to be shared at home and yet, equally, a wonderful resource for the primary school library where children now start learning a second language at an early age. 

The use of repeating phrases an ideal structure to aid learning. The story itself interesting enough to hold the attention and prompt discussion. And, oh my goodness, those glorious illustrations, innocent and simplistic and hugely appealing. I've seen illustrations done by adults that are made to look as if they have been done by children but have rarely come across illustrations that have actually been done by children as is the case here.


Kelly said...

Spanish was my language of choice in school and though I'm far from fluent, I can remember a fair amount. This book looks delightful on every level. And any mention of wonderful illustrations always wins me over.

Brian Joseph said...

This sounds like a great way to help learn a language. The story also sounds neat. The cover is also cool.

Gina said...

Looks cute and I agree, a great way to introduce other languages to the kiddos. Thanks for the share!

Anonymous said...

This bilingual book sounds truly lovely
and delightful and I love the cover.
For my part, as a native speaker of
Dutch I had English, French and German
at school.

sherry fundin said...

Sounds like it would be a fun way to learn.
sherry @ fundinmental

Arti said...

Sounds like a great idea to learn a second language along with a compelling story to keep us intrigued. I had french in college as my second language too but hardly remember any of that now except may be the basics. The book certainly looks delightful and I'm absolutely longing to see the illustrations. Great review, Tracy, thank you!

Literary Feline said...

I love the opening to this one. It's cute. This sounds like it is both educational and entertaining.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Along with just about every other lesson above basic level, how many of us use half of the information we were forced to learn and digest for school exams, in adult life?

I do however, think that in todays shrinking world, having one of more additional languages under your belt, has nothing but advantages for young people and my pigeon French definitely wouldn't cut the mustard now!

They do say that the best age to teach children a second language, is at the same time as they are learning their mother tongue, whatever that may be, so this book looks to be aimed at exactly that audience, which is perfect.

I like the notion that the cover art was also designed by young people, as computer and graphic skills are another more or less mandatory attribute needed in todays modern workplace.

Thanks for sharing :)


Barbara said...

The front cover looks so appealing, and I love the title! I went to school at a time when languages were only taught to the brightest pupils or those that had a chance of going on to university. I wasn’t one of those pupils! I’m so glad my grandchildren have those opportunities now.

The Bookworm said...

Very cute!