Juguemos en el bosque is one of my favorite picture books to read to children learning Spanish. It teaches Spanish clothes vocabulary and it really makes kids laugh. The book is based on the traditional game and song Juguemos en el bosque. You can read a post about the game and hear the song here: Fun game reinforces Spanish clothes vocabulary. The book is illustrated by Monica Bergna and published by Ekaré as part of their Clave de Sol collection.
This picture book has many elements that make it perfect for kids learning Spanish:
– it has lots of repetition.
– it teaches Spanish clothes vocabulary.
– it teaches two very common questions: ¿Estás? (Are you here/there?) and ¿Qué estás haciendo? (What are you doing?).
– it illustrates a traditional game played all over the Spanish-speaking world.
– it includes the music to the song for the Spanish game on the last page of the book.
The pictures in the book illustrate the song that children sing as they play the traditional game Juguemos en el bosque. In the game, one child is the wolf and the other children ask what he is doing. He answers that he is putting on different pieces of clothing until finally he says that he is going to get them and chases them. The text of the book is simply the lyrics to the song:
Juguemos en el bosque mientras el lobo no está. / Let’s play in the woods while the wolf isn’t here.
¿Lobo estás? / Wolf, are you here?
¿Qué estás haciendo? / What are you doing?
Me estoy poniendo la camiseta. / I’m putting on my t-shirt.
The illustrations show sheep playing in the forest, and the wolf getting dressed, but they also expand on the song. Children will notice that the sheep are little troublemakers! They are playing tricks on the wolf by doing things to the piece of clothing he is going to put on next (he keeps his clothes in a dresser in a tree). They put leaves in his underwear and eggs in his hat, for example. These illustrations let children anticipate what the text on the next page will be. It also gives parents and teachers lots of ways to use Spanish clothes vocabulary.
The story ends the way the traditional game does, with the wolf coming out to chase the sheep. Again, the pictures expand on the lyrics of the song to show how the wolf deals with the mischievous sheep.
Juguemos en el bosque is a wonderful book to read to kids learning Spanish. They will learn their Spanish clothes vocabulary in no time, and they will laugh at the tricky sheep and the trouble they cause the wolf.