Monday, June 11, 2012

De regreso a la escuela: La caja de las carcajadas

La encontré una tarde fría y gris de otoño en una estación de tren. 

Yo estaba sentada en un asiento del andén buscando distraerme un rato.  Trenes saliendo y llegando.  Gente caminando, corriendo apurada, cansada.

Debajo del asiento estaba esta caja que sin querer golpeé con el talón del pie.  Me agaché.  Una caja pintada con colores muy alegres.  “¡Que bonita!” pensé y me estiré para tomarla.

Sorprendida por su peso, la arrastré hacia mí con las dos manos.  Miré a mi alrededor buscando a un posible dueño, pero no había nadie que pareciera serio.  Finalmente, la abrí con bastante dificultad. 

Dentro de la caja había sonrisas, sí, así como lo lees, sonrisas.  Y muchas.

Mis ojos y oídos no pudieron dar crédito a lo que sucedió luego. 

With a title like La caja de las carjadas, this book by Mariana Jäntii captured my attention from the library shelf.  When I sat down to read it, I was in awe of the beatiful word choice and sentence fluency and absolutely loved the story. 

This book is about a girl who discovers a box that contains laughter.  That's right!  As in ¡Je je je!  ¡Ja ja ja!  ¡Ji ji ji!  ¡Jua jua jua!  The laughter is contagious and has the power to change people's attitudes when they hear it (las miradas de mis amigos comenzaron a iluminarse mientras alegres sonrisas se pintaban en sus rostros, transformándolas). 

Telling her story in first person, the girl claims, "Es muy lindo ver cómo sonreír cambia los colores de cualquier alma gris” and later asks the reader, "¿Has probado alguna vez transformarte en una caja de sonrisas para los demás?"
I think this book would be a perfect back to school read as you establish your new community of learners and talk about the importance of sharing laughter together.  Of course, you will definitely want to revisit this book throughout the year for many other teaching purposes (word choice, sentence fluency, onomatopeia, and much more!).

I know the start of school is still a long way away but good back to school reads in Spanish can be hard to find so I want to feature as many as possible this summer to allow you the time to gather a few before that first day is here.  Yes, I will admit to being at Borders one year on the night before school started (just before 10 pm) trying to buy a book I just had to read to my students on the first day.  A little crazy?  Yes!  But those first read-alouds with a new class are pretty stinkin' special!


  1. Considering I had a dream/nightmare about the first day of school last night, it's never too early to start preparing for the first day of school! I'm definitely going to check out this book. Thanks for sharing!
    Mrs. Castro's Class 2nd Grade...Spanglish Style

  2. Going to have to check this one out! Thanks for the recommendation!

    <a href=">The Second Grade Superkids</a>

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! I am really excited to teach third grade bilingual. :)


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