The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Spain

Va la vaca

(The cow goes)

Albo, Pablo (text)
Rea, Simone (illus.)
[Barcelona]: A buen paso, [2021]. – [60] p.
ISBN 978-84-17555-56-6

Language  | Sound  | Creativity  | Animals  | Picture book

Reading age: 3+

White Ravens issue: 2022


»¡Ji ji ji!« (Hi hi hi!), giggles the giraffe in this book. Many readers will undoubtedly imitate her, for »Va la vaca« is a splendid book for children (and adults) who take pleasure in playing creatively with language, sounds, syllables, and words. Starting point is the names of animals, and first up is the book’s title »Va la vaca« – or »The cow goes«. Va? Vaca? Oh, like that! What is behind all the other animals’ names, such as zorro (fox), jabalí (wild boar), hormiga (ant) or burro (donkey)? That’s right: they go »zo?« and »ja!« and »ohhh!« and »buuuhh« – sounds of happiness, sadness or displeasure. Surely there are innumerable additional animal names in Spanish (and other languages, too) containing syllables that carry a meaning of their own. Discovering them is what this book demonstrates in a way that is as simple as it is inventive. Simone Rea has illustrated Pablo Albo’s text with beautiful, anthropomorphized animal portraits that perfectly match the book’s typography. [JW]