A Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick-Slow Conversation with Rachel Hobbs
In this episode Rachel Hobbs and I chat about her amazing book, language learning, pitch success stories, cultural representation, music, fractured fairy tales and so. much. more! This is a rich conversation and we cover a LOT of ground! It's a great conversation sparked by a fabulous book. Read on to find out more about how you can use this book in the classroom or with your little one. We have tons of ideas below!
TANGO RED RIDING HOOD by Rachel S. Hobbs
This bilingual debut book by Rachel S. Hobbs is not only a fractured fairy tale, it is also full of Argentine culture, and full of musical references. It packs a lot of punch for a picture book! You'll find elements of the fairy tale/folk tale we know and love ("Little Red Riding Hood") with Spanish and musical elements embedded throughout. Wolf tangos through the story with a slow-slow-quick-quick slow retelling of the familiar tale that will make you hungry as a well . . .wolf :-) Hungry for more Spanish words and phrases, hungry for alfajores, and hungry for. . .TANGO! Bring on the music, bring on the cookies, and bring on the fun, while teaching a sweet cultural lesson along the way to Abuela's house!
A Little Jam. . .(The Music Kind)
This video seemed MOST appropriate to go along with this delightful book, as it is the song and the instrument that is mentioned in the story. This is El Choclo played on the bandoneon! There are additional musical connections in the YouTube playlist, so if you're looking for something different, be sure to check that out in the links section. You'll find lots of musical selections that are great companions to the book as well as classroom activities to go along.
Teacher Tips, Tricks and Topics
Tips and Topics for Music Teachers
Writing Prompts from Tonnye
1. What surprised you the most in this story?
2. Have you ever tried to learn another language? Write about that experience. What was hard/easy? Did you have any misconceptions?
3. Write your own version of RED RIDING HOOD.
4. Write a recipe for your favorite cookies.
5. Write a letter to one of the characters in the story. Try to use at least 3 Spanish words.
6. Write about how you figured out the words you didn't know in this story.
7. Why do you think Lobo confused eat/meet?
8. Do you think this is a good title for the story? Why/why not?
9. Listen to El Choclo. Write about how it makes you feel.
10. Have you ever danced Tango? Write about that experience. If you have not write about whether you'd like to learn or not.
11. Write about your favorite food from your culture.
12. If You have an abuela/abuelo (grandmother/grandfather) living, how would you get to their house. Write a story about going to visit them.
13. If you could choose between playing the bandoneon or the violin, which would you choose and why?
14. Write a paragraph about your body. Use the Spanish names for body parts.
Writing Tips from Rachel
1. Find a critique group that resonates with you, not necessarily tells you what you want though! For example, if a partner doesn't like words in another language but you write using words or phrases in another language, they are probably not the best fit for you.
2. Find someone to enthusiastically telI your ideas to! I don't like journaling, but I like talking and I have had amazing walking partners who have let me chat about my newest ideas, or recent revisions, etc. They weren't writers themselves, but they liked books and liked me, so that was helpful! Your critique group can give you, well, the critiques, but your friends can be your hype team.
3. Remember this is not a race and you're not competing. Publishing will always be there. I used to want to be published first in my twenties and I felt like everything was such a rush. Now in my 40's I know that good stories at times need to marinate, some longer than others. Connecting with other writers and establishing a sense of camaraderie helped me see how writers can be cheerleaders for other writers, and that is beautiful!
4. Write because you love writing, not just to be published. If you write for publication, you might get discouraged and stop writing. But would you really be happy not writing for the rest of your life? Remember why you write--because of joy and personal fulfillment. Then when publishing does come your way, it's the cherry on top.
5. What books did you want to read when you were younger and how do you want kids to feel when they read your books? Pull from your personal experiences when you write, even if your actual experiences don't show up on the page.
Links, More Fun, Extensions for Families and Everyone!
YouTube playlist with lots of musical connections and activities to go along with TANGO RED RIDING HOOD
Pinterest board with Spanish learning activities, info about Argentina, tango, and more!
FUN! page on Rachel's website with coloring pages, word searches, AND the recipe for Alfajores! (Click on the FUN tab if it doesn't take you there directly.)
If you've been a subscriber or follower for any length of time, you know I love to personalize my PBJ snacks whenever possible, so I'm borrowing Rachel's photo of her alfajores and I'm going to make a suggestion. Her recipe for traditional alfajores are here. If you notice in her description/info, she says the most traditional filling is dulce de leche, which I think we should all try! But she also says you can use jelly . . . so, when I try them, I'm going to save some and make PBJ Alfajores. When the cookies cool, I'm going to layer peanut butter and jelly/jam between (I think I'll use strawberry). And then, if you wanted to go a step further, you could roll them in crushed peanuts! Que tan delicioso! That's enough to make us all hungry . . .as a wolf ;-)
Guest Links and Giveaways
Rachel is a delight, and you're going to want to follow her progress, because I know this will not be the last we hear from her! As a matter of fact, I bet she'll be a guest again on PBJamz because music is an integral part of her life! Anyway to follow her on all the socials, and find out more about her and what she's up to, here are all her links:
As well as following her, please leave positive reviews if you read and enjoy her book, request it (and check it out) at your local library and bookstore, mark it want to read (or read) on GoodReads, recommend it to friends and family, buy a copy as a gift, shout it out on socials if you enjoy it, etc. There are so many ways to support authors that don't cost a penny! (However, if you CAN afford it, you'll definitely want to add this book to your collection! ;-))
Also, my rhyming writing friends will be thrilled to know that Rachel is offering a picture book critique. If you're the winner, you can choose to submit a non-rhyming picture book (up to 600 words) OR a RHYMING picture book (Limited to 200 words) for Rachel to critique. To enter, simply leave a comment below!
This page is the official space for PBJamz -- multimedia Jamorama celebrating all things PB (picture books) and Jamz (music), although we'll indulge in the other PBJ snacks where appropriate :-). Join us each Thursday for new content connecting picture books and music!