“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.”