Original edition: Nieuwe Laarzen, Clavis Vitgeverij, 1997
This post may not be much use to anyone, which is a shame as it’s my “comeback” after quite an absence! We’ve got it in Spanish, and I can’t find an English translation anywhere! L If anyone knows of one, please let me know. I tell it in English, and the Spanish isn’t difficult if you have just the very basics.
Botas Nuevas is my 2 –year-old’s latest obsession. I think we read it four times a day at the moment, so it seems a good book to come back with! It’s great for little ones, and good fun to work with with early leaners of English. The story’s simple and the illustrations are beautiful: bright and bold and conveying the most wonderful sense of life and energy and fun.
The title and the first page say it all: Jan’s got NEW BOOTS, big, bright red wellies, and in these new boots he can do all that a child could possibly need to: run, jump, dance, climb, kick a ball around and splash in puddles! My little one loves jumping up and showing me how he dances and runs and jumps, just the same as Jan. Various animals (real and stuffed) look on or take part in the action, making for a great book to point things out in and talk about.
I like this page best of all: doesn't it just make you want to jump up and run around with them???!
For this very reason it could be useful for working with very young language learners: plenty of fun everyday vocabulary to name, talk about and imitate. Botas Nuevas could easily lead onto or on from work on actions, body parts, colours or clothes. Or could just be a fun thing to read together!
The illustrations are mixed media: thick bright paint, crayon, and a very important page of newspaper out of which Jan makes a paper plane, a hat and a boat as he hares around in his new boots, his cheeks pink and a huge smile on his face. The boots are huge, outsized to show just how much Jan loves them. I love the way his hair flies out behind him as he runs and jumps! And check out the little details: the big toe poking out from a sock, the half-eaten pear left behind on the wall, Jan’s concentration as he wades carefully through the puddle.
We’ve got several of Guido van Genechten’s books, for very young children, and this is definitely one of our favourites! Look out for more posts later on…