Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Colors My World / Mis Colores Mi Mundo - ALA Notable Book

I was thrilled to see a bilingual title included in the ALA Notable Books! My Colors, My World / Mis Colores, Mi Mundo by Maya Christina Gonzalez follows a young girl named Maya who lives in the desert, and has to strain to find color in her sandy world. Large, painterly images cover each two-page spread, with the same text in each language underneath.

This facing-page format is great, so that readers can see the exact translation in the other language. Color words are also highlighted in their appropriate shade, making it even easier to identify them in each language. There's even a glossary in the back!

The artwork (also by Gonzalez) is dreamy and interesting, and the book gives a great peek into life in the Mojave Desert, as Maya encounters cacti and desert flowers that kids in Pittsburgh might not be familiar with. Elements of the author's heritage are evident throughout, and they make what could be a simple book about colors much more informative.

I think this book would be a great way to reinforce color words in a child's primary language, as well as to help teach vocabulary in a second language.

It was also a 2008 honor book for Illustration for the Pura Belpre Medal.