A young bilingual immigrant meanders through her city park, translating for her beloved dog, in a heartwarming picture book debut.
When Aurora came to the United States, she learned to speak English. But her spaniel, Nena, did not. Sweet Nena loves to give besos, and she knows only Spanish. She doesn’t know SIT, but she does know SIÉNTATE. She doesn’t know WAIT, but she does know ESPERA. And while TREAT doesn’t mean anything to Nena, she can certainly sniff out a POSTRE! At the park, Nena may not know what the other dog owners are saying, but she and Aurora will always understand each other just fine. Borrowing from her lived experience, Venezuelan-American author-illustrator Andrea Cáceres offers a gentle, charmingly illustrated ode to love that extends a hand—or a paw—to readers who may feel displaced or are learning a new language themselves.
About the Author
Andrea Cáceres is an author, illustrator, and art director. Her work, much of it featuring dogs, has appeared on products, textiles, marketing, branding, packaging for companies including Microsoft, Snapchat, J.Crew, and The Farmer’s Dog. About My Dog Just Speaks Spanish, her debut picture book, she says, “Did you know that dogs might be able to identify when different languages are spoken? Tobi, my silky terrier, and I spent years speaking only Spanish, and it was very interesting to see him react to a different language when he moved to the US. See if you can spot Tobi in this book!” Andrea Cáceres was born in Venezuela and is based in New York City.
The picture book is as sweet as it is simple, following Aurora around her new city as she demonstrates the words Nena knows in Spanish. . . this makes an excellent addition for young readers practicing reading, and even for those newly learning English or picking up Spanish terms. The speech bubbles support interactive reading with an adult, and the background images offer an opportunity to explore Aurora’s community more deeply in a preschool or kindergarten storytime. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A breezy delight, Cáceres’ picture-book debut takes a modest premise to humorous heights, bolstered by a reassuring message to readers who may be in a similar spot as Nena. The artist’s zesty, colorful digital illustrations have a childlike appeal. . . Pawsitively wholesome. —Kirkus Reviews
This book gently explores the idea of second-language acquisition, children who translate for others, and code switching, suggesting patience with those who learn at different speeds. . . . Colorful, happy digitally rendered illustrations show the closeness between girl and dog, and Nena’s friendly, affectionate nature. —The Horn Book
Andrea Cáceres, originally from Venezuela, demonstrates her love of dogs and languages in her debut picture book, My Dog Just Speaks Spanish, a diverting story that also creates a fun opportunity for both English- and Spanish-speaking children to expand their language acquisition. . . a delightful romp with a beloved pet and a valuable language lesson to boot. —Shelf Awareness