Rhymes for the Little Ones

Read Me a Rhyme in Spanish and English
Rose Zertuche Treviño
ALA Editions, 2009
paperback (978-0-8389-0982-9)

Rose Treviño is the Youth Services Coordinator for the Houston Public Library, one of the largest library systems in the country that serves one of the biggest Spanish-speaking populations in the country. She is an active member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the Texas Library Association (TLA), the Public Library Association (PLA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. Her work has great impact on library services provided to Latinos on both the local and national level. Past chair of the Newbery Award Committee, Treviño is also a passionate advocate for Latino children’s literature. Amazingly, she has time to write, too! Her new book is a collection of ready-made bilingual storytimes for babies to primary school children.

We asked Rose to answer some questions about her book and she graciously agreed.

Tell us the story behind Read Me a Rhyme in Spanish and English – why did you write this book?
I was approached by an editor at ALA Editions and asked if I would consider writing a book with ideas to help those who work with bilingual children. As a children’s librarian, I offered bilingual storytimes for children for many years and thought I’d give it a try. I used many of the songs, rhymes, and fingerplays that my Mom had taught me as a child.

Describe your research process; what were your sources?
My best sources were my Mom, my Aunt Bea, and my daughter-in-law, Vicky. I also contacted Jose-Luis Orozco, author and songwriter and requested permission to use a few of his renditions of traditional songs. Over the years, I had learned different versions at conferences and workshops and kept these in my idea file.

Give us a sample of one of the rhymes you included in the book.

Here is one from the chapter for babies:

This nursery rhyme is a favorite with babies. Ask parents to hold baby’s hand open and tap the baby’s palm as the simple verse is recited.

Pon, pon, tata,
Pon, pon, la la,

Mediecito pa’ la papa;
A little sock from papa;

Pon, pon, tía,
Pon, pon, maybe,

Mediecito pa’ sandía;
A little sock for baby;

Pon, pon, pon,
Pon, pon, pon,

Mediecito pa’ jabón
Wash my socks

Y me lavan mi camisón.
And nightie.

Thank you Rose!


Rhymes for the Little Ones — 1 Comment

  1. That’s a very weird translation of the rhyme. Mediecito is an old coin so ” mediecito pa la papa” Would mean “a little coin for the potato”. Nothing to do with socks (mediAS) or fathers (papa)

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