bilingual, books

A Book: How Exciting

Ta-da! That is the cover of the first Los Primos book — The Cousins and the Magic Fish/Los Primos y el Pez Mágico.

Marlene Molson, of eRiginal Books in Miami, emailed the image this week. The designer, China Yanly, incorporated the illustrations created by my son Ezra into a river scene. Cousins Diego and Sofia and their Grandpa Roberto are on shore after they released Mr. Fish aka Don Pez.

Ezra’s illustrations will also appear on the bottom of each page.

A book. How exciting.


That’s Teresa Dovalpage to my right. Photo by Katharine Egli

As I posted earlier, I wrote the book in English and Teresa Dovalpage tells it in Spanish.

Now we are considering ways to get the book, the Los Primos series actually, into the hands of young readers. It is being uploaded to Create Space so we can print the books as needed.

One option would be to approach bilingual programs in the schools. I read that Hispanic children make up 25 percent of the population in public schools. Plus, children whose primary language is English could learn Spanish.

Here’s a sample from the book:

The fish’s thick lips moved.

“Yes, I did. Why are you all staring? You look like fish with your mouths open.” The fish laughed. “Be careful. You might get hooked. And please tell your dog to stop sniffing me. I don’t like it.”

And en español:

Los gruesos labios del pez se movieron.

—Sí, claro. ¿Por qué me miran con esos ojotes? Parecen peces con la boca abierta —el pez se rió—. Tengan cuidado. Los puedan enganchar. Y por favor, díganle a su perro que deje de olfatearme. No me gusta que me olfateen.

As I wrote last week, we will be doing a presentation on the series at ¡Viva Pecha Kucha! in Taos on Feb. 18.

I reread the book this morning. I like Diego and Sofia. They are good kids. They have a sense of humor but they aren’t smart alecks. They love their Abuelo Roberto, who tells them fanciful stories about his family. They could live in Taos.

And there are elements of magical realism in the series — like a talking fish, a dog that goes invisible and musical instruments that make people dance.

It’s a fun project — and very soon a book in hand.