Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Review: Diario De Greg (Un Renacuajo)

Learning a second language is a never-ending journey. I've reached the point where I can teach young children in Spanish as a bilingual early childhood teacher, and personally, I'm comfortable speaking to mija solely in Spanish as a way of raising her bilingually (mom speaks to her in English with a few words in Spanish now and then).

However, the process of learning the language itself never stops. Even in English, I still come across words relatively frequently that I'm unfamiliar with or have forgotten the meanings of, and I'm sure that if I ventured into any technical field (dinosaurs, medicine, chemistry, ancient literature, archaeology, etc), I'd find innumerable words I wasn't familiar with. But the point of all of is is that I still learn new things in Spanish every day, and one of the ways I do that is through reading.

Diario de Greg is the Spanish translation of the popular kids' series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and I'm three books into the series and enjoying them. Personally, I've found kids books to be a great source of 2nd language learning. Why not? After all, we all read kids' books when we were kids, and they contributed to our vocabulary growth and linguistic sophistication. The book is set up as a diary with illustrations peppered throughout as it details the life of a middle child in middle school.

I find it mildly funny, as in funny enough to keep reading, and the plot is interesting enough. I really needed a break from Harry Potter after the books started getting too long. Brenda and I stopped there after the 3rd book and plan on returning someday. For now, though, the Diario series is fulfilling the "Book" part of my Spanish Learning Triangle (the other two parts being telenovelas and the radio / music). I'd recommend picking it up if you're looking for a relatively easy read at the 200-page mark. You can find it on Amazon for only $12 or likely at your local library for free.

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