The Cover of Ocho Animales

Author : Susan Middleton Elya

Illustrator : Lee Chapman

Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Year of Publishing : 2000

Age Suggestion : 5+

Type : Picture Book



What do you think when you heard “Ocho Animales”? That’s right! Definitely not an English Language. So, this book it’s not only a picture book for an early reader, we can learn another language in this book, too! How fun! See, ocho animales is Spanish term for “eight Animals.”

Usually, my son is learned language with Duolingo Application (excuse me for mentioning the brand here), it’s learning application for learning another language. We both decided to learn German, but my son is still 6 years old you see, of course he’s still indecisive about that. So, when he knew his cousin learning Spanish, he followed her! And make this language part of his lesson, too.

Rat buys the cheese in "Eight Animals on the Town (Ocho Animales)"
The seller is smile when she sees the rat buys some cheese, how wonderful! Here, we usually chase away rats 😀

The content of this book is actually pretty simple. It’s about 8 animals who wander about in the town (in or on? Hmm…), interacting with human, like buying cheese or so. Wait, what? They’re fine with animals act like human? What a cool town it is! There’s a ratón (which means Rat) wants to buy queso, which means cheese. And gato, the cat, is buying the leche, of course it’s milk, duh! And número tres (number three), cuatro (four), and so on.

It’s happy ending, they have cena (dinner) and baile (dance) together. Sweet, what a friendship between different animals! So, remember, kids, it’s no matter how much different you and your friends are, as long as you respect and love to each other, everything will be alright!

How Susan Middleton Elya slipped in Spanish Language between English words is definitely working well. She didn’t push it further and any other words needed are simply being put in the illustration. What works between the author and the illustrator! Great team work, do you think?

It makes me talking about the illustration. The important thing in picture book, surely. I think the drawings rather odd, with the big smile of each animal showing the detail of their teeth. I hope they brushed their teeth!

One more thing, the illustration is dark and gloomy. Yes, it’s colourful, but Lee Chapman chose more dark colour. It makes them gloomy. But, I love how the Spanish culture is being illustrated well in this book. Good job, Lee!

If there’s something more to add, is I love how the author get the reader thinks and carefully look up into the books. Like when she describes cena, she didn’t actually put it into drawing, but you can look into the previous page that they are having dinner together. So, we can conclude that cena is dinner.


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