Books from Spanish Cuentos
If you have been reading here for a while, you should know that I LOVE all books from mi amigo Craig, aka Spanish Cuentos. I have used his novel Peter va a Colombia for the last two years as a full-class novel in Spanish 1. I will also be trying out El silbón de Venezuela this year at the end of level 1.
I have all of his books in my free reading library and have reviewed the following in past libro lunes posts: El Gorila Blanco, El Ratón Pablito, La famila de Federico Rico, El Pombero & and La Piñata de Renata. This fellow Iowan’s books are always a hit during free reading, and if you are looking to implement FVR in your class, make sure to check out the game changer for implementing FVR.
¡Papacito! from Spanish Cuentos
In what levels should I use the book ¡Papacito! ?
If you and your students loved the graphic novel styles of El Ratón Pablito, La famila de Federico Rico, and La Piñata de Renata, you will love ¡Papacito! Different from those listed, this one is more of a consistent storyline, as opposed to a compilation of mini-stories.
I personally love that it is both a full storyline, but with the pictures of a graphic novel. Each page has multiple full illustrations, which really helps to aid in the comprehensible input. There is also a full glossary and limited word count. It would be perfect for a late Spanish 1 or early Spanish 2 full class reader. All ages would enjoy it for free reading.
¡Papacito! & Culture for Spanish Class
I love culture-rich readers, and this one fits the bill. The whole book is set in Cartagena, Colombia, with rich elements of Colombia interwoven naturally in the book.
There are so many opportunities for cultural exploration on topics such as champeta dance, vallenata music, arepas de huevo, sombreros vueltiaos, la fortaleza de San Felipe, mochila arhuaca, palenquera and more. Many of these cultural references also have a small explanation in English at the bottom of the page, to help the reader understand the novel.
I especially love that the characters and cultural references are very diverse including indigenous, and African cultural elements as well.
To see more, check out this awesome Papacito Youtube Playlist created by the author himself!
Using ¡Papacito! in class
On our first day of free reading, I hyped up that we had many new readers that I acquired this summer. In both Spanish 2 and 3 ¡Papacito! was taken by multiple students. Everyone who read it decided they wanted to continue with the book and they really enjoyed it.
My Spanish 3 students were retelling the story so far to their class in Spanish and convinced some others to read it as well. That is the beauty of free reading. Upper-level students get a chance to read a fun book that may be considered lower than their level, that they ENJOY and it builds their confidence in reading in Spanish after a break. As a bonus this story is Funny and teens can relate to school, boy, and family drama.
Update: I would pair this novel with the film Encanto in Spanish class
Overall ¡Papacito! is a must-have book for your free reading library in Spanish!