Are you looking for an excellent collection of Spanish tongue twisters for children? In his picture book El torneo de trabalenguas / The Tongue Twister Tournament, author Nicolás Kanellos offers a wonderful selection. He also makes the rhymes accessible to language learners by creating a context for reading and practicing Spanish tongue twisters. Thanks to Piñata Books, an imprint of Arte Público Press, for providing this book as a part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
El torneo de trabalenguas / The Tongue Twister Tournament
The characters in El torneo de trabalenguas / The Tongue Twister Tournament participate in a tongue twister contest where “el mejor torturador de nuestras lenguas” wins. In other words, the story incorporates the idea that readers will say the trabalenguas and decide which is the most difficult.
I love this premise because it establishes that the more we stumble over the words, the better the tongue twister! It gives children license to try to say the rhymes, and to evaluate each tricky set of sounds.
In addition to the context of the contest, the participants are fun, memorable characters that fit the tongue twisters they present. In fact, after hearing the story, children can identify them on the cover and recall the tongue twister the character shared. The illustrations of the presenters also include visual clues to key words in the rhymes.
El torneo de trabalenguas / The Tongue Twister Tournament is a dual language book, with text in both Spanish and English. The tongue twisters are well-done in both languages, but I love the Spanish in particular. Many of the Spanish tongue twisters are versions of traditional rhymes and loaded with culture. At the back of the book, there is also a collection of traditional tongue twisters in both languages. Pakapaka also has a fun collection of Spanish tongue twisters online, complete with video. You can purchase the book from Arte Público Press or from Amazon.
Activities with Spanish Tongue Twisters
Whether you are reading this book at home with your family or with a class, try activities that expand on the fun and learning.
Illustrate and Present – Children choose a tongue twister to illustrate and share. Their drawings will help them understand, learn and present the Spanish tongue twisters.
Incorporate Actions – Choose actions for children to do with sounds or words that are repeated in the Spanish tongue twisters. Choose actions that represent the meaning of a word, or stand up and sit down for a certain sound or word. For example, with the tongue twister Beto rebota la bola from the story, kids can stand up/sit down each time they say rebota.
You can also touch your head for one sound and your shoulders for another. Once students know the actions, they can do them faster and faster as they say the tongue twister.
Line by Line – This activity is fun and gives kids a chance to learn Spanish tongue twisters with a friend. In pairs, student say the tongue twister alternating lines. They must listen carefully to try to keep the rhythm going and say the tongue twister as quickly as possible.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year. The event was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves. We also work diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using Multicultural Children’s Book Day, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change that.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Medallion Level Sponsors include Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV. Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee&Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media. Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books.
Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson. Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d also like to give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team. They host the book review link-up on celebration day and work to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
Useful MCBD Links
- MCBD Website
- Free Multicultural Books for Teachers
- Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators – Available Free
- Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents
Don’t forget to connect with us on social media. Also, look for and use the official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.