Friday, January 30, 2015

María Tenía una Llamita

This post is part of a series, 31 Days of Spanish Books for Kids. Please click HERE for the complete list of posts. {Each of these posts contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!}

We are all familiar in the United States with the song "Mary had a Little Lamb". But how about María Tenía Una Llamita? Set in Peru, the text follows the original rhyme (It is printed in both English and Spanish) except it is no longer a lamb and María is dressed in the traditional clothing of the area.

While this book is simple in its language, I find it invaluable for introducing to the youngest of children the concept of different cultures. Even the fact that there is a llama instead of a lamb throws some kids into confusion as there are many young children that have no experience with what a llama is. So we spend some time talking about this "new" animal.  I also point out other visible cultural differences like the clothing of the teacher and students, the open-air market, and the traditional musical instruments. This book also provides an opportunity to take a look at geography.  There is a simple map in the book that labels a few places in Peru. There is also a page with several clocks that show the passage of time in the story, and you could introduce the "top of the hour" and how to say it in Spanish.

This is one of my favorite books for introducing younger kids to South America and is not to be missed!

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