Mamá Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury

Mamá Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury

Bilingual Anthology of Folklore for Young Children



Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy, acclaimed authors and scholars of Latino literature, have spent years culling popular and beloved lullabies, jump-rope songs, riddles, proverbs, and more from all over the Spanish-speaking world. The result is the most comprehensive bilingual folklore collection available in this country. Full of charm and humor, rich with the diversity of Latino cultures, this one-of-a-kind treasury is the perfect introduction to Latino folklore for English speakers, and a trove of familiar favorites for Spanish speakers.


The trea­suries of the folk­lore, whether rhymes, rid­dles, songs or tongue twisters were pre­cious gifts in my child­hood. In grat­i­tude for the joy they gave me I have tried to share them in mul­ti­ple forms, within poetry antholo­gies and in books, like ¡Pío Peep!, MuuMoo, Merry Navi­dad, Ten Little Puppies/Diez perritos and many oth­ers.

I have writ­ten about the wonderful moments these folk tra­di­tions brought to my childhood in the book Pin Pin Sarabín. I hope you find as much joy shar­ing this book as I had dur­ing its compilation.


School Library Journal

Pre-School–Grade 2: This lovely compendium includes lullabies, finger games, lap games, sayings, nursery rhymes, jump-rope songs, proverbs, riddles, tall tales, a ballad, birthday songs, and Christmas carols. The format is spacious, with lots of room for both the Spanish and English text and clear, charming watercolor cartoon illustrations that vary from spreads to small insets. The selections, which are just as much fun to read in English as in Spanish, are wonderful examples of paraphrasing. While not literal translations, the general sense of the rhymes is maintained in cadence and rhyme. This is a perfect example of translation as an art form and of the fact that license sometimes trumps literalness. A perfect companion volume to the authors’ ¡Pío Peep! (HarperCollins, 2003).


Pre-School–Gr. 2: This packed-to-the-gills volume features nursery rhymes, riddles, sayings, and songs drawn from the rich traditions of Spanish-speaking cultures. Arranged in thoughtfully introduced sections such as “Canciones de comba / Jump-Rope Songs” and “Adivinanzas / Riddles,” the 68 selections appear first in Spanish, followed by a loose recasting of the original in italicized English. Tracey Heffernan is credited with “creative editing of the English,” a role that extends beyond strict translation to produce English entries that preserve features such as rhyme, onomatopoeia, and repetition. The results occasionally stray significantly from the originals’ sense, so readers hoping to enrich a developing second language won’t be particularly well served; others will wish for musical notation and annotations about each entry’s cultural origins. (Jose-Luis Orozco’s bilingual poetry collections include more of both.) Still, native Spanish speakers wanting to share favorite rhymes with children will relish this book’s breadth–and young speakers of either language will appreciate the bouncing rhythms and nonsense fun. Two indexes, one in Spanish and one in English, conclude, and lighthearted watercolors by Suarez appear throughout. Jennifer Mattson


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