Sunday, July 12, 2009

Denise Vega Interview

First of all, I love the book in this giveaway! Click here to enter the giveaway. It is so adorable, perfect for beginners, fun to read and lends itself to lots of related activities. I enjoyed interviewing the author, Denise Vega. Click here to go to her website. You can get to know her a little better...

Why did you decide to create bilingual books?
The short answer is I didn’t! I originally submitted the manuscript for Build a Burrito in English-only as I am not bilingual. Once they accepted it, they contacted me to see how I would feel about doing it bilingual. I told them I wasn’t and worked with some bilingual friends for some of the words and the publishers Spanish editor also helped with the Spanish in the book.

What would be some advice you would give parents who are trying to teach their children Spanish?
IMMERSION if at all possible. If the parent is not fluent, surround the child with the language – on television, radio, books, music. Enroll them in classes if possible. See if you can find a bilingual speaker to talk with them. And learn it yourself so you can converse with them! If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Tell us a little about the book, Grandmother, Have the angels come? that you wrote.
This book came from watching my own grandmother go through what we all go through as we get older – some of our parts don’t work as well as they used to! And we often complain about all of our aches and pains and what we can no longer do. I began to explore some of the positive aspects of aging and the story grew into a relationship between a grandmother and a granddaughter, with the granddaughter noticing a deficiency and the grandmother pointing out the gift it has given her.

How did you up with the idea for Build a Burrito?
Wow. It was so long ago that I don’t recall specifically! I do remember that I was exploring the Mexican side of my heritage (and still am) and wanting to write stories that connected with that. I probably was looking at different concept books and wondered how I could combine looking at my heritage with a counting book. And of course, I love burritos (even though I hate cheese!) and they can have lots of ingredients so it seemed like a good fit.

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