'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 6 June 2024

Review: I Hear A Búho

Given we have done a little bit of learning Spanish here over the last couple of years, I was well pleased to know that I could not only pronounce all the español in this striking picture book but could understand it. Hurra! 

This a quite simple rhyming picture book with a mother and daughter enjoying a little quiet bonding time before bed.

Climb on my lap. We’re under the moon. We might hear some animales soon.

I love the first image of them cuddled up in the hammock under the stars. 

They play a game where Mamita can hear various animal noises – is that a ???, she asks with each animal given its Spanish name – but are actually the little girl’s mimicking. Until, that is, Mamita hears el búho, NOT her daughter’s game, but an actual magnificent owl, sailing across the night sky. 

It is both a lovely exploration of the bond between parent and child, and the beauty of stillness and quiet appreciation of our natural world. The illustrations are so very striking that they will instantly engage young readers. They are a very modernistic graphic art style, combining techniques such as print, crayón, pen and ink, and collage and will very easily give rise to some productive art sessions in which students might attempt similar artwork. 

There is an extremely useful pronunciation guide at the end of the book which outlines the vowel sounds plus all the words used throughout the narrative, for those who have never had any experience of Spanish. 

For those with multilingual students, it is always a welcome addition to collections to find bilingual books in my experience. Or perhaps, just to give your readers a taste of another language. I believe this is an extremely desirable addition to any bookshelf whether for school or home.

Muy hermoso!

I Hear a Búho
Author: Raquel MacKay
Illustrator: Armando Fonseca
Publisher: Scribble, $24.99
Date of Publication: April 2024
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781957363653
For Ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book