I'll Build You a Bookcase (Spanish Bilingual Edition)

By Kirkus Reviews

In rhyming text this bilingual (Spanish/English) book details the pleasures children and adults will find reading together from birth through the rest of childhood.

Gentle illustrations that combine the looks of print and collage depict a pregnant Black mother preparing for the arrival of her baby by making a bookcase out of old shoeboxes. “I’ll build you a bookcase before you are born / that’s made out of boxes from shoes that were worn.” In the next double-page spread, two White dads describe the kinds of books that will go in the bookcase for their infant child: “for books we will read in the soft morning light / and books we will read before saying good night.” Each new double-page spread shows a different set of adults and children: a multiracial family, a Muslim mother and child; black, White, brown, and Asian adults and children; old and young people; and a child in a wheelchair. And each spread details the wondrous worlds books will open up: “We’ll learn about bluebirds that live in a tree / and giant green turtles that nest near the sea.” There’s also a clear message aimed at adults: “I’ll build you a bookcase for when you turn 2, / my phone tucked away so it’s just me and you.” Backmatter tips on reading with children reemphasize the text’s message. The Spanish translation, done by Canetti, captures the mood and the rhythm of the original English text.

A how-to for adults that they can share with children.

Reviews & Comments