Friday, December 17, 2010

Niko's PICKS: Nina Bonita

Niña Bonita, by Ana María Machado

This book is one of my all-time favorites, published by one of my all-time favorite publishing houses: Ediciones Ekaré from Venezuela. The story tells of a white rabbit who dreams of being as beautiful and black as his friend, la niña bonita. He tries everything to be as dark as his friend - including drinking tons of black coffee! In the end, he meets a beautiful black rabbit and they end up having little bunny babies of every color - white, black and grey. The story is a wonderful way of talking about issues of identity, race and body image with students. The illustrations are lovely and include street scenes of Caracas and other cultural elements. The language of the text of the story is appropriate for more advanced students, but the story is well worth a re-write in simpler prose for use with younger students. A MUST READ for all Spanish teachers!

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