Tag Archives: language

¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay


holacover¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay, paperback, 30 pages, published by PoliglotKidz Press in 2015.

Ride along with Panchito (a Mexican jumping bean) and Pete the Pilot to learn some basic Spanish. Go from the bean fields to the markets and then off to a party, learning Spanish all the way.

My complete Spanish repertoire prior to reading this book was gleaned from Dora the Explorer episodes, so basically I could count to three and say hello. ¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish was perfect for a total beginner such as myself. It is a fantastic resource for children and adult beginners alike, with its engaging and interactive method of introducing the language. You can also go onto the Polyglotkidz website and download the audio files. This allows for listening to the correct pronunciation of the Spanish words, and provides an opportunity to practice speaking the language.

I liked the story of Panchito, which was fun and I picked up a number of words as I read. It was easy to see the translation of the Spanish words. I felt like I was learning Spanish straight away! There is a glossary of words at the end of the book for quick reference, which was handy for checking words I wasn’t sure about.

I really enjoyed the Culture Corner section of the book. The information was interesting, relevant and age-appropriate. I did not know that a jumping bean is not a bean at all! It even included the words and tune for the song which is traditionally sung during the striking of the piñata.

Activities designed to strengthen language retention were a useful addition to the book. Suitable for children of all ages these activities could be done in a group or individually. I really liked the idea of doing a treasure hunt as part of the language learning experience. There was also a short play which would be fun to act out.

¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish is suitable for primary school children, but can be used by anyone wanting a fun way to pick up a little bit of Spanish. I would like to see more books like this for other languages in the future.


*I received this book from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.



Horrible Histories: Wicked Words by Terry Deary


IMG_4953Horrible Histories: Wicked Words by Terry Deary and illustrated by Philip Reeve, paperback non-fiction, 191 pages, first published by Scholastic Ltd in 1996, this edition published in 2011.

Learn about the origins of the English language in this witty and engaging book from the Horrible Histories series.

Horrible Histories makes learning history lots of fun, and Wicked Words is no exception. I enjoyed it from start to finish, and learnt quite a number of things along the way! It includes history of the development of English as a language, from when Romans ruled Britain through to modern times. It also explains various facets of the language. There is information about words borrowed from other languages, and about the idiosyncrasies that litter the English language. You can learn about onomatopoeia, euphemisms, riddles, slang, spelling, grammar and important people in the world of words, among many other things that make English the language it is today. There are plenty of jokes as well as some word games that could be fun to play. My kids thought the ‘knock, knock’ jokes were terrible, but they still laughed!

Wicked Words is illustrated throughout with comic-like black and white drawings. These help to explain the text, while breaking it up and making it more light-hearted and fun to read. Some of these illustrations are very clever and funny.

Full of facts and insights into the development of the English language, Wicked Words is a fascinating read for middle primary school students and up. I really enjoyed reading this book and felt that I learnt plenty about words in the process!