New Book Makes Learning Spanish Fun

June 4, 2010

The short story collection “El árbol imaginario” (The Imaginary Tree) uses both classic fables and new works highlighting Costa Rican culture to make an attractive option for learning Spanish. The book features 31 tales, 500 highlighted vocabulary words, comprehension questions and dozens of welcoming illustrations.

The 253-page collection is part of publisher La Jirafa y Yo’s plan to offer better learning materials for Costa Rican students. Anne Señol, the book’s editor, said the publishing house was founded out of frustration. She noticed English textbooks were of much better quality than the Spanish textbooks available to Costa Rican students.

“They don’t have that wealth of info, and that concentration of grammar and vocabulary,” Señol said.

“El árbol imaginario,” the second release from La Jirafa y Yo, is geared toward those learning Spanish at a second-grade school level. Señol and other local writers emphasized Costa Rican phrases and expressions for the readers.

The publishing house’s first release, “Leo y Lea,” was made available to students in the northern Sarapiquí region last year. The book was a success, with students falling in love with the characters. A year later, Señol has followed it up with El árbol imaginario.”

Each tale features vibrant artwork done in two separate styles by illustrators Olga Anaskina and Héctor Gamboa. The classic texts include stories by Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde.

Señol said it was important to have variety. It’s the best way to get young students to keep reading.

“That’s the way you acquire a language,” Señol said.

“El árbol imaginario” retails for about ¢6,000 ($11) at Librería Claraluna, Librería Universitaria, Librería Nueva Década, Librería Francesa, Café Britt stores and the European School. For more on La Jirafa y Yo’s books, visit www.lajirafayyo.com.

–Matt Levin

You may be interested

Billionaire Piñera to return as Chile’s president
Chile
229 views
Chile
229 views

Billionaire Piñera to return as Chile’s president

Paulina Abramovich / AFP - December 18, 2017

Electoral authorities said the 68-year-old conservative, who previously led the South American nation from 2010-2014, won 54 percent of the vote, nearly eight points above his leftist rival Alejandro Guillier.

Download our High Season Print Edition here
The Tico Times
1000 views
The Tico Times
1000 views

Download our High Season Print Edition here

The Tico Times - December 17, 2017

Thanks to all the readers from around Costa Rica and the world who have written to ask how they can…

PHOTOS: Costa Rica’s Festival of Light
Holidays
3012 views
Holidays
3012 views

PHOTOS: Costa Rica’s Festival of Light

AFP - December 17, 2017

Costa Rica's traditional Festival de la Luz, a holiday parade through the heart of San José, filled the capital with…