“Ruben’s Jungle/La Selva de Ruben”
by Carlos Harrison
This very sweet story is great for any day, but
if you’re looking for an accessible, developmentally
appropriate book for young children to celebrate
Cinco de Mayo, this is a fun one.
It’s written in English, with the Spanish version
underneath the English words on each page. I
read the English version, but use the Spanish words
for the animals Ruben encounters in his dreamtime
jungle – mono (monkey), elefante (elephant), etc.
The children and I make the animals’ sounds, and
I also create a tune for Ruben’s reply to each animal
when they ask him if he wants to play: “Yes, indeed!
I’d love to play all day!” Sometimes I use the Spanish
phrase “Claro, que si!” instead of “indeed” just because
it’s fun to say!
“Ruben’s Jungle” ends with a sweet surprise – the
animals “magically” turn into stuffed animals so he
really can “play with them all day.”