The first day of school can be scary—especially when no one else speaks your language. Carmen wishes she was back in Mexico, where everyone spoke Spanish and she didn’t stand out. But a little bravery, a loving family, and a compassionate, determined teacher help Carmen find her way. Señora Coski’s Spanish is muy terrible, but that means Carmen knows she won’t laugh if her English sounds terrible, too.
Soon, Carmen is confident enough to join in lessons, games, and songs—and she starts to teach her classmates Spanish, too! Uno, dos, tres. . . .
Brightly illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor illustrator Angela Dominguez, Carmen Learns English explores the frustrations and triumphs of a young immigrant learning a new language, and celebrates the ways in which we learn from one another.
For anyone worrying about their first day of school, this sweet, realistic picture book is sure to reassure and entertain.
“This charming celebration of bilingualism captures both the fears and delights of learning a new tongue.”—School Library Journal
“Cox gets Carmen’s narration just right, folding in both Spanish words and enough malapropisms to give readers a sense of her special voice. Dominguez’s bright paintings present a basically confident little girl whose progress from anxious frowns to smiles will make readers cheer. Muy bueno.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The frustrations of starting school as the only Spanish-speaking student come through clearly in Cox’s tale of a girl who slowly gets a handle on English with the help of a compassionate teacher.”—Publishers Weekly