We Laugh Alike / Juntos nos reímos By Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez (2021) – hardcover
We Laugh Alike / Juntos nos reímos is a bilingual tale unlike any other! Rather than a direct translation, author Carmen T. Bernier-Grand weaves together a tale more similar to how such a scene would play out in real-life. A group of English-speaking children overhears a group of Spanish-speaking children while playing at the park. The narration jumps from the perspective of the English-speaking children to that of the Spanish-speaking children, and as the two groups of children interact, the two languages are woven together in the story’s text.
Nos siguen cuando corremos,
y se suben con nosotros al carrusel.
We chase them to the merry-go-round.
Giramos y giramos.
Round and round we go!
Although they can’t understand each other’s language, the children find other commonalities that bridge the language barrier. Together, they learn to communicate through the universal language of music, dance and play. And, of course, through laughter!
The backmatter includes a handy glossary of the Spanish terms used throughout the book, and a delightful bilingual author’s note.
Take-away message: This story sends a simple yet important reminder that we humans are all the same species. Humans, especially children!, like to run, play, and dance no matter their ethnicity or native-language. Language should never be used as a tool for discrimination or exclusion. As humans, we can find shared experiences that bring us together.
TAGS: diverse characters, bilingual, Spanish, hardcover
About the Author:
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand is the author of numerous books for children, including Picasso: I The King, Yo el rey; Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina; and Diego: Bigger than Life, a Pura Belpré honor book. She speaks about her work and the history of Puerto Rico, where she grew up, to elementary students. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
About the Illustrator:
Alyssa Bermudez has illustrated several books for children, including the two Lucía Luchadora books, the Amelia Chamelia series, and My Singing Nana. She studied illustration and animation at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Alyssa was born and raised in New York City, she has Puerto Rican family roots, and she currently lives in Tasmania, Australia. www.alyssabermudezart.com