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This bilingual book will help your child face nightmares – SheKnows

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The nightmare finally met a formidable match. Her name is Skeletina and she is on a mission to help her children. fun Their strangest, most eerie dreams. Created by Encantos (Encantos) co-founder, author and illustrator Susie Jaramillo, her Skeletina is about being fearless, brave and empathetic. Bonus points for a bilingual family: her story is available in English and Spanish!

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Readers can follow Skeletina’s adventures in new picture book Skeletina and in-between worldsshe, along with some of her undead friends, teaches children to face their greatest fears. she knows We spoke with Jaramillo about the art of overcoming nightmares, writing beloved bilingual stories, and how best to help children learn to speak Spanish.

SheKnows: How did the idea for Skeletina come about?

Susie Jaramillo: I grew up very Catholic. I have had really bad nightmares because of my guilt about heaven and hell. I went to her mother and she just said, Do you feel guilty? All right, go back to her bed. “

I had a lot of flood dreams and thought I’d see what would happen. And then I realized I could still breathe! I could breathe underwater.Me [thought]”Oh my God, this changed everything, this notion of surrendering to the power in the dream.”

My daughter went through the same thing I did. She suffered from nightmares. At the time, she said, “I wish I had friends in her dreams to help her out so she wouldn’t have to fear all these crazy things.”

Can you describe the visual elements of Skeletina’s design?

SJ: I’ve always been fascinated by Pippi Longstocking and Raggedy Ann, and I’ve always been a fan of Tim Burton.I have never seen Latin culture in that world Here… When Here There were no strong female characters. I wanted an independent female lead who had the quality of a rag doll and was really irreverent, outspoken, funny, and broke all the rules for no reason.

It’s a tricky subject, nightmare. I think this kind of story helps children understand it. [they’re not alone}. Shining a light on the fears and turning the fears into a monster that can be diffused is the magic.

You’ve described bilingual children’s books as a bit “cumbersome” in the past, and I’m curious how Encantos is reinventing that format?   

(Jaramillo held up one of her books for reference while she spoke. As opposed to the typical bilingual book, which features both languages on the same page, Encantos books are printed with the English story on the front and, when you flip the book around, the Spanish version on the back.)

SJ: It’s one language at a time.  I love this format, especially for early readers. The truth is, the human brain gets overwhelmed by clutter and lots and lots of extra words on the page is clutter.

Parents love it. Teachers love it. You’re throwing two languages at kids but throwing them in a way that is really easy to digest. And you’re capitalizing on their innate [desire] I want to read the book over and over again.

has produced many well-loved songs. Canticosyour Latin-inspired bilingual nursery rhymesEs. What inspired you to start writing bilingual music?

SJ: We take great pride in our music and the different genres of Latin music we incorporate. [too]We are cool to speak spanish. Because the reality is that everything cool is in English.Here is the world of this beautiful nursery rhyme Mother Goose Argentinian he’s Cuban he’s Mexican he’s Colombian everybody sings Loss Elephantitos Also Los Politos

I would like to say that we are making glue. Because it binds the community together. Grandma speaks good Spanish, speaks little English, and her children speak little Spanish, but one thing she can do together is sing a song. My kids don’t like to speak Spanish, but see how her daughter holds the mic and sings proudly at her mother-in-law’s 50th anniversary. Los Politos In Spanish, in a room full of Colombians in their 60s and 70s. She just brightened up the room.

Do you have any advice for parents who want their bilingual children to get hooked on speaking Spanish?

SJ: Let’s have fun! Don’t make it your homework, don’t let Spanish be a point of contention. [Listening] Music in Spanish is very useful. Reading… games. Don’t wait until they’re in high school. Always speak Spanish with them, joke with them in Spanish, and enjoy the way they speak Spanish.

Of course, if you can travel, visit those who have Spanish-dominated homes. Give them a first-hand look at the culture so they can build and practice those skills.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

Before you go, check out your favorite children’s books featuring boys of color.