Posted in Early Reader, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Mexican Folk Art and Concepts meet with Animal Talk!

animal talkAnimal Talk: Mexican Folk Art Animal Sounds in English and Spanish, by Cynthia Weill/Art by Rubi Fuentes and Efrain Broa (March 2016, Cinco Puntos Press), $14.95, ISBN: 9781941026328

Recommended for Infants-5

Animals talk in all sorts of languages! Animal Talk translates animal sounds in Spanish and English, using beautiful folk art to illustrate the concepts. It makes sense that different languages would interpret animal sounds differently, after all – when an English speaker hears a cat meow, a Spanish speaker hears a cat miau. A rooster greets the dawn in the U.S. by hollering, “cock-a-doodle-doo!”, and in Spanish countries, he calls out, “ki-kiri-ki!” It’s a wonderful way to see how sounds are the same, yet different, between two cultures.

I love this series. Doctor Cynthia Weill has written several concept books featuring Mexican folk art, including Opuestos, Colores de la Vida, and ABeCedarios. Animal Talk is her fifth book in this series, and it’s a fantastic addition for a library like mine, in a neighborhood densely populated with Central and South American families, and it’s a great library addition to any library where you have little ones ready for a storytime. The artwork is breathtaking. Mexican folk art is vibrant, lively, and bright – eye-catching to little eyes and minds! Animal sounds make for great storytimes; teaching animal sounds in different languages makes for even more fun. It lends itself to a great interactive experience!

The books themselves are works of art; not even an exaggeration. Craftsman Rubí Fuentes and Efraín Broa from the Mexican state of Oaxaca create these beautiful images, and you’ll want to buy an additional book just to frame the artwork in here.

One thing I desperately need is for these books to come out in board book. They’re beautiful hardcovers, but I’ve got lots of little hands that would get even better use out of them if moms, dads, and librarians didn’t have to worry about torn pages so much.

Put this in your animal storytime, and throw in a round of Old MacDonald Had a Farm while you’re at it – and make the animal sounds in both languages!

Cynthia Weill’s author webpage features a video about the artists who made the wood carvings for her book, Opuestos. Show this video to your older patrons and students to show them the work that goes into these beautiful books. Take a look at more of the gorgeous art from Animal Talk right here!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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