Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Los tamales de Ana

My kiddos and I rarely get to the library between naptimes and eating times, but last week we made it and I am so excited to share what we found!  Taking a two-year-old and a ten-month-old to the library has to be short and sweet, so often times I find myself pushing the stroller through the aisles at a trotting speed, to keep up with my two-year-old, quickly grabbing books off the shelves that catch my eye.  Usually that means we are in for a surprise when we get home, because who knows what Mommy snagged! 
Los tamales de Ana proved to be a great bilingual grab.  Our local library does not have a specific section with bilingual books, so anytime I find one I like to check it out.  Bilingual books are a great way to learn Spanish and new vocabulary--you can read the English story and become familiar with it, then read the Spanish part using the context to understand and learn new words and phrases.   

In the story, a young girl named Ana, makes tamales for Christmas and dreams of what each new year will bring as she grows older and gets to have more responsibilities making the traditional Mexican dish.  Zepeda writes the imaginative text in the future tense, and Ward's vibrant illustrations make those imaginations come to life.  So not only do you get to practice your Spanish future tense (or learn it for the first time!), you also get to dream with the character Ana about the wonderful traditions involved with making tamales. 

Try this tamale recipe from Rick Bayless--one of my favorite chefs that has as his mission teaching people what authentic Mexican cuisine means.  Then go check out Los tamales de Ana, grab your 501 Spanish Verbs book, and talk about what you are going to do in the future!  See below for a little guide on the Spanish Future Tense. 

Spanish Future Tense
If you want to speak in Spanish about things that will happen in the future, just learn a few verbs and then add these endings depending on the subject.  Remember the subject pronouns are:
 Subject Pronouns
yo (I)
nosotros (we)
tú (you, informal)
vosotros (y’all)
él, ella (he, she)
Usted (you, formal)
ellos, ellas (they)
Ustedes (you all)
Future Endings
So, for example if you want to say “I will eat tamales,” you would use the verb comer (to eat) and put it with the yo (I) ending é. 
comer + é = comeré
“Yo comeré tamales” = “I will eat tamales”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Around the World in Just a Day!

Last night as I was watching the weather on Fox 4, meteorologist Mike Thompson told me that our longest day of the year is coming up soon, and the days following that begin to shorten by fifteen or thirty seconds each day.  It made me realize how quickly summer passes before our eyes!  I'm sure everybody's calendars have quickly filled up with camps, VBS, Summer Bucket Lists (click here for some great inspiration on making your own bucket list for summer), vacations, weddings, family get-togethers and holidays!  So I wanted to give everyone a heads up on a really fun even that happens every summer in Kansas City: the Ethnic Enrichment Festival.  Put on by the Ethnic Enrichment Commision of Kansas City, this festival hosts representatives from over 60 countries, and offers a great opportunity for families to explore cultures and meet people from around the world.  When my husband and I took our sons a couple of years ago, they gave us a "Passport" at the entrance that we took around and had stamped at each booth which represented a different country.  We tasted food from Italy, Spain and Central America; we observed dances from Africa; we heard languages from Japan, Brazil, and Mexico to name a few!  Don't miss your chance to travel the world with your family this summer!  Save room on your calendars to attend one of the festival days, August 17-19.  The cost is only $3 for adults--children 12 and under are FREE, and parking is also FREE!  Hope to see you there...