Hey there readers! One of the great things about Vamos is that we get to showcase books and authors that may not otherwise get the attention that they deserve. I had this in mind while reviewing a unique and delightful children’s book, El día de Ana/Ana’s Day the debut book of author Eileen Wasow.
Here is a description from Amazon:
Ana’s Day is about a four year old girl who accompanies her mother on a series of errands in a small town in Mexico. Ana’s world comes to life through the colorful clay sculptures made by artisans living in Ocumicho in the state of Michoacán, México.
This lovely bilingual picture book is illustrated with clay figures. In it, we follow the daily activities of young Ana, who lives in Mexico. Ana runs errands with her mother. Together, they take her brother to school, watch children play jump rope and hopscotch, and listen as the principal encourages the students to study well and respect their teachers. Ana can’t wait to go to school herself, but she’s not quite old enough, so for now she accompanies her mother.
They visit the mill of Mr. Gonzalez, where Ana and her mother bring a bucket of corn kernels to grind. We get to learn more about this process, such as how the ground corn is made into dough, and how loud the machine can get. The story ends with Ana’s excitement that “Today we will eat hot tortillas!”
It is a wonderful educational tool because it includes a bilingual glossary that references words that students might not recognize. This grammatical resource section separates nouns, verbs, and adjectives. It is a bilingual book that offers text first in Spanish than in English, which is a nice change from most that prioritize English. Also included is an “About this Book” and “Author’s Bio” section that illuminates information about Wasow’s inspiration for this work.
The book is currently being used in a variety of dual language programs in the District of Columbia and has been well received by a number of programs working with dual language learners in other parts of the country and in Mexico. One can imagine the book being used in any classroom, perhaps as a great companion to an art project in which students are encouraged to depict their own multicultural daily activities.
Wasow welcomes the opportunity to visit schools and libraries. Check out her website for contact info, a bio, more information about the book, and photos from El día de Ana as well as a link to her blog. Stay tuned, readers, as I bring to you more gems of multicultural children’s literature!
**The author has sent us an extra copy of this book to give to one of our readers! Comment on this post by May 1st if you are interested and we conduct a drawing for it.**
Images: From El día de Ana/Ana’s Day. Photographed and designed by Eduardo Bautista.