Read Any Good Books Lately?

by Marilyn Roca Enriquez in

Fairy tales have a timeless, universal quality unmatched by other forms of literature.  Not only are they often amongst the first stories that children learn but are also their first “lessons” in such things as honesty, respect, diligence, courage and loyalty.  So this month, OutlooK-12 is dedicating our School Library to Scholastic’s Bilingual Tales series featuring classic tales in both English and Spanish. In addition to a description for each book, we are also including a brief excerpt.

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439773768

Some animals look different as babies than they do as adults.  This simple scientific fact is the basis for one of the best-known children’s stories about rushing to judgment but also about finding inner strength and beauty.  

En la orilla del lago hay mucho alboroto.  ¿Qué pasa?  Los patitos han salido de los huevos.  Son todos ¡iguales y tan bonitos! ¿Todos iguales?  ¡Nooo! Hay uno distinto.

There is a lot of noise at the lake.  What’s going on? The ducklings have hatched!  They all look alike!  They’re so cute!  Do they all look alike?  Nooo!  There’s one that is different.

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439773751

“Little Red Riding Hood” is a story that has undergone several revisions—not all of which end happily.  In the modern world, however, it is a cautionary tale reminding children to be wary of strangers.

Érase una vez una niña a quien todo el mundo llamaba Caperucita Roja porque siempre llevaba una capucha de color rojo.  Un día, su madre le pidió que llevara miel a su abuelita, que estaba enferma.

There once was a girl who always wore a red hood.  Her name was Little Red Riding Hood.  One day, her mother asked her to bring honey to her sick grandmother.

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439773829

The themes of being wise and the consequences of being foolishness are very prominent in this classic story.  Like “Little Red Riding Hood,” the villain is a wolf, an animal often portrayed in fairy tales as being very deceitful and treacherous.

Había una vez tres cerditos que vivían tranquilos y felices.  Un día, vieron un lobo que merodeaba por los alrededores. “Tendremos que construer una casa para protegernos del lobo,” dijeron los cerditos.

Once there were three little pigs.  They lived quiet, happy lives.  One day, they saw a wolf nearby.  “We must build a house for protection,” the little pigs said.

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439871983

Unlike the Disney movie, the original story of “The Little Mermaid” is a bittersweet tale just as much about mortality as it is about romance.  For this mermaid, falling in love doesn’t automatically equal happily ever after. 

En el fondo del mar, vivía un rey con su mamá y sus seis bellas hijas.  La menor tenía una voz maravillosa y todos los animals del mar se acercaban a oírla cantar. 

Deep in the ocean lived a king with his mother and his six loving daughters.  The youngest daughter had a beautiful voice.  All the sea animals loved to hear her sing. 

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439773775

Everyone daydreams, and normally that is a fun and harmless way to pass the time. But in this story a young girl learns that getting too caught up in dreaming can lead to problems in reality. 

Hace mucho tiempo, en una granja de vacas, vivía una niña con su familia.  Cada día, una vez ordeñadas las vacas, la niña se encargaba de llevar la leche a la cuidad para venderla.

A long time ago, a girl and her family lived on a dairy farm.  The girl milked the cows every day.  Then she took the milk to the city to sell it. 

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439871990

In many versions of “Sleeping Beauty” the villain is a fairy who was not invited (either accidentally or on purpose) to a celebration.  In this book, however, a witch replaces the fairy as the antagonist.  

Hace mucho tiempo, en un castillo muy lejano, un rey y una reina tuvieron una hija muy hermosa.  Para celebrar el nacimiento de su hija, dieron una gran fiesta...  

A long time ago, in a castle in a faraway kingdom, there lived a king and a queen.  They had a beautiful baby girl.  They king and queen had a big party to celebrate the birth of their daughter. 

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439773799

Fairy tales have become a way to teach morals to children through fanciful characters and settings. In this story, a pretty little rat puts herself in a dangerous situation because her judgment is clouded by vanity.  

Érase una vez una ratite muy presumida que, tra-lará-lar-ita, barría su casita.  Un día, encontró una moneda: “¿En qué la gastaré?” dijo la ratite.  “Caramelos compraré¡ No, no, que mis dientes gastaré…”

There once lived a conceitd little rat who, tra-la-la-lee, swept her house so clean.  One day, she found a coin.  “What should I buy?” asked the little rat.  “Candy! No, my teeth will rot…”

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439871952

Arguably “Cinderella” is one of the most beloved and well-known fairy tales in the world.  Nevertheless, this retelling adds a new element by stating that Cinderella is an orphan with no family despite having a legal guardian and relatives.

Érase una vez una pequeña huéfana.  Su mamá había muerto cuando ella era muy niña, y su papá se volvió a casar.  Pero la mala suerte hizo que su papá también muriera…

Once upon a time there was a young orphan.  Her mom had died when she was very young, and her dad got married again.  Unfortunately, her dad died, too.

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439879705

What is truly valuable and the importance of friendship are central to the story of “The Nightingale.”  Set in China, this fairy tale is about an emperor who loves the song of a nightingale—until he is dazzled by a fake bejeweled bird.

Hace mucho tiempo, vivía un emperador en China que tenía un palacio muy grande.  El palacio era tan grande que el emperador desconocía muchos de sus rincones.

A long time ago, there was a Chinese emperor who lived in a very big palace.  The palace was so big, there were many places the emperor had never visited.  

by Luz Orihuela
ISBN-13: 978-0439871969

“Thumbelina” is symbolic of how large and daunting the world can seem to a child.  While she is pushed in directions that she doesn’t want to go, in the end Thumbelina must stay true to herself to find where she belongs.

Había una vez una mujer que quería tener un niño, pero no sabía dónde encontrarlo.  Así que buscó a una hechicera.  La hechicera le dio una semilla de cebada.

Once there was a woman who wanted a child, but she didn’t know where to find one. The woman went to see a witch. The witch gave her a seed of barley.