These two picture books are fun to read, use clothing vocabulary, and also use complete Spanish sentences rather than just labeling words. Both books have illustrations that make the text clear so children can learn Spanish.
Children learn the most Spanish from picture books that use complete sentences. A language is much more, and much more complicated, than individual words. Reading with your child is an opportunity to expose her to words used in context, and also to correct Spanish grammar. These two books are at different levels, but both of them incorporate clothing vocabulary into complete, grammatical sentences.
My clothes/ Mi ropa by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza and Carolina Cifuentes is part of the English and Spanish Foundations Series. It is a bilingual board book, with a pronunciation guide, and is a great choice for beginning language learners and parents who are learning Spanish with their children. The word choice is natural (the verb usar, for example) and the bright illustrations engage a child’s interest and make the text clear.
Yo uso un paraguas cuando llueve. (I use an umbrella when it rains.)
Yo uso anteojos para ver mejor. (I wear glasses to see better.)
My children grew up with the Déjame leer books, Alma Flor Ada’s translations of the popular Let Me Read series. The books are at three different levels and are short, inexpensive and ideal for reading aloud (as well as for beginning readers).
La colcha de retazos is a Level 3 book, but the pattern, the repetition and the illustrations make it an effective read-aloud for language learners. The story is about Tania who asks her mother about a quilt made of pieces of old clothes:
Tania señaló un trozo azul. (Tania pointed to a blue piece.)
¿De dónde salió? – preguntó. (“Where did it come from?” she asked.)
Es de la camisa favorita del abuelo – respondió su madre. (“It’s from Grandpa’s favorite shirt,” answered her mother.)
Tania decides to make a quilt too.
Buscó la camisa favorita de su hermano. (She looked for her brother’s favorite shirt.)
Buscó la falda favorita de su hermana. (She looked for her sister’s favorite skirt.)
These simple sentences model natural Spanish. For example, the subject is clear from the verb form and the situation, and therefore the subject pronoun (yo, ella, etc.) is not stated in the sentence. Also, the verbs are in the present or past tense, depending on the context.
It is very important for children to hear all the verb tenses as they learn Spanish. This story has a natural repetition of preterite, or past tense, verbs. (The correct pronunciation of preterite verbs is important. You can hear the pronunciation of salió, respondió, preguntó, and buscó at Forvo)
Children will learn the most from Spanish picture books that use complete sentences. Both of these books incorporate clothing vocabulary with common Spanish verb forms and basic sentence structure. In both books, the illustrations make the meaning of the language clear, so as children listen to the story they understand and learn Spanish.