Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CANTABA LA RANA by Rita Rosa Ruesga

Poetry Tag continues with a book review of a new book of poetry connected to yesterday's book review.

Today’s tagline: More poems with a Spanish connection

Guest Reviewer: Lydia Rogers

Featured Book: Ruesga, Rita Rosa. 2011. Cantaba la rana/The Frog Was Singing. Ill. by Soledad Sebastián. Scholastic. ISBN: 9780545273572

Lydia writes: CANTABA LA RANA, THE FROG WAS SINGING is a tribute to the poetry that most Hispanic children have heard at least once in their lives. Even English speakers will enjoy these much-loved Spanish nursery rhymes from Latin America as Rita Rosa Ruesga has mainstreamed the poetry by translating each poem. A surprising quality to each poem is that a musical tune that accompanies it. The reader can feel the beat embedded in each poem as they read it in Spanish or English.

The illustrations by Soledad Sebastián are in step with art typical of Latin America. Each piece of art for enhances every poem with vivid tones of red, green, purple and blue. The pictures are significant enough to hang as art in a classroom, library or home.

Here’s a sample poem (in Spanish and English):

Señora Santana ~ Mrs. Santana

Señora Santana, por que llora el niño
¿por una manzana?
que se ha perdido.
yo le daré una,
yo daré dos,
una para el niño
y otro para vos.

Dear Mrs. Santana,
Why is the child crying?
Because of an apple,
I think he just lost it.
I will give him one,
I will give him two,
One is for the boy,
The other one’s for you.

This poem starts off with crying and ends with a smile. Any student will feel the natural connection and fall into a rhythm as they clap, chant, or sing this tune. So, ¡Grab your maracas! Or collaborate with the music teacher; she/he can help you get the tune to this well loved lullaby from Spain. Your K-2 students will appreciate the poem even more if you act it out with them and all share an apple treat in the end. Students in grades 3-5 will identify with the idea of being kind and why that is important in daily life. (They should get some apple too as a reminder to be helpful and kind.)

Tomorrow’s tagline: More poems from the oral tradition

[We’re heading down the homestretch of National Poetry Month—still time to get your copy of the e-book, PoetryTagTime, an e-book with 30 poems, all connected, by 30 poets, downloadable at Amazon for your Kindle or Kindle app for your computer, iPad or phone for only 99 cents. Grab it now.]

Image credit: PoetryTagTime; Scholastic

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell and students © 2011. All rights reserved.

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