Bilingual storytime: la paloma y el autobús

My bilingual family storytimes all follow the same outline, and I fill in the blanks with books, flannel stories, apps and activities!

Book: Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus, by Mo Willems.


My evening attendance has been waning, so using a pigeon book was my shameless attempt to lure people in. And it worked! I had a huge crowd, including a regular family who has been coming to bilingual storytime when possible from the beginning.

And here is my proud librarian moment: the older kid in this family, who is I think 3, has always refused the mom’s attempts to speak Spanish to him; he has sat in silence while we sing or refused to answer when I ask him questions in Spanish. Tonight, I had a big group of older girls, and he was tagging along with them. He participated and sang all the words to Cabeza y hombros, rodillas y pies along with us! I was so pleased and proud of him!

Anyway, we read the book first in English and then in Spanish, with the kids all loudly chorusing, “NO!” even when I made puppy eyes and begged to drive the bus.

Side note: There were a few parts of the translation that I didn’t love, but they were easy enough to change on the fly as I went along.

Book + Activity: Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin.


I’ve used this book before, but with a whole new audience it worked great. I introduced all the animals and we reviewed vocabulary; then I handed them out and read the book. Our Spanish copy was checked out, so I just held up the English copy but read in Spanish, which was easy enough with this simple story.

See more bilingual storytime posts!

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