When I Go On Vacation With My Family/ Cuando me voy de vacaciones con mi familia

John W. Coburn

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 36 Price: (paperback) $10.99 ISBN: 9781665503815 Reviewed: April, 2021 Author Website: Visit »

A vacation-themed English/Spanish bilingual story, this slim volume presents a pleasant way for young readers to practice language skills.

As the narrator (a young boy) and his sister drift off to sleep, they hear their parents and grandparents discussing the potential for an upcoming vacation. The boy’s mind wanders over the various adventures they might have, including a beach trip, mountain camping excursion, cruise, desert safari, and more. Each idea comes with thoughts of the activities they could do, things they might see, and the family member who would enjoy it most. As the story concludes, the narrator decides that he’s not too worried about what where they actually go, because as a family they’ll enjoy the time together regardless of location.

The story is told in English on the left page with the corresponding Spanish on the opposite page. This allows readers to compare the English and Spanish texts. The narrative structure, which goes from one vacation possibility to the next, complements this approach. Each page also has a unique illustration, and a comprehensive index of words in the back lists English and corresponding Spanish words together and indicates where to find them in the text.

The story is driven by exposition rather than a compelling plot, and character development isn’t the point of the story, but the narrator’s excitement is believable, without being over the top. The length and sentence complexity are more suited for middle grade readers than early readers, as are the basic line drawings as illustrations—though the matte quality of the paper could allow the images to be colored in.

When I Go on Vacation with My Family is not a particularly fresh or creative way to learn English or Spanish, but it serves as fun and pleasant language practice.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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