Monday, July 16, 2012

De regreso a la escuela: Soy René, el niño

If you follow ITDL on Facebook, you may have seen my post last Friday about the new public library that just opened right around the corner from my house.  I visited it for the first time with my girls and we discovered that ALL of the books and videos are BRAND NEW!  It was absolutely magical! And I was super-excited to discover a collections of hundreds of children's books in Spanish.  Can you hear the angels singing???  I picked out some good ones to read and review as a part of our "De regreso a la escuela" read aloud recommendations.

Typically, one of the focuses of the first week of school in the early grades is writing and reading one's own name as well as learning the names of other students and people in the school.  Who hasn't read Kevin Henkes's Chrysanthemum (which is, by the way, available in Spanish!)?

Soy René, el niño by René Colato Laínez would be a perfect book to add to your study about names.  It is really a perfect book for the first week of school in so many ways.

René is a boy, originally from El Salvador, who has always considered his name to be just a boy's name.  Upon entering a new classroom in the United States, he learns that it can also be a girl's name.  This does not sit well at first!  Yet, as the girl Renee pursues his friendship and he discovers a book called El significado de los nombres in the library, René begins to feel better about his name.  He decides to enter a writing contest to win two extra large pizzas (he likes pizza!) and his essay WINS!  

Yo soy René.  En español, René es nombre de niño.  En inglés, se escribe con una ‘e’ extra al final y es nombre de niña.  René es un nombre francés que significa renacer, volver a nacer…Tengo la piel canela como el pan dulce que sirve Mamá para el desayuno.  Tengo un cabello negro y lacio que no le hace caso a los peines o cepillos.  Tengo bonitos ojos negros como Mamá y brazos fuertes como Papá. 
Mi nombre René es diferente.  Pe pertenece sólo a mi. 
La letra R es por los rieles que corrían enfrente de mi casa en El Salvador.
La letra E es por mi país, El Salvador.
La letra N es por nunca darme por vencido.
La letra E es por mi nuevo país, los Estados Unidos.
El acento al final es lo que hace a mi nombre fuerte y poderoso.
Yo soy este René.

Now, tell me that your sweet teacher brain is not just spinning with ideas about what to do with this book!!!  This is a BEAUTIFUL book and absolutely perfect for your first week of school!  It might just be my favorite so far!  I know, I know...I say that almost every week! 

By the way, don't forget to visit the author's website and let your kids tell him how much you enjoyed his book!  I will review another René book next week so stay tuned!


  1. Thanks for sharing this gem. I can't wait to go to Barnes and Noble and order a copy!

  2. I am always looking for FUN books in Spanish for my DLI K class, thank you!


Join the conversation in English or español! You know you have something to say!