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Pat Alvarado

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Member Since: Nov, 2001

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La Princesita del Arco Iris - The Little Rainbow Princess
by Pat Alvarado   

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Books by Pat Alvarado
· Dog Gone!
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· Guillermo Gusano encuentra una mina de oro - William Worm hits pay dirt
· The Writer
· El collar de hierro - The Iron Necklace
                >> View all



Publisher:  Piggy Press ISBN-10:  9962629160


Copyright:  July 13, 2003

Piggy Press
Piggy Press Books

Big, dark clouds dominate the skies with lots of rain. The princess throws a party, which includes a contest to pretty up the palace and cheer up the people.

Perdone la tardanza, Princesita, pero mi carreta se trabó en el lodo.

No se preocupe. Comprendemos respondió ella. żEs este su regalo?


“Sorry I’m late, Little Princess, but my wagon got stuck in the mud.”

“That’s okay, we understand,” she replied. “Is this your present?”

Professional Reviews

La Princesita del Arco Iris The Little Rainbow Princess, a book review by Eric Jackson, editor, The Panama News

a bilingual story by Pat Alvarado

Illustrated by Andrea E. Alvarado

Piggy Press, Panama 2003

32 page, paperback

Pat Alvarado, who edits the works of Sparky the Wonder Dog herein, is arguably the most prolific English-language writer in Panama. So who might argue? Pat’s distinction depends on the medium, and also on whether bilingual works count. She certainly publishes more books than anyone else in the English- speaking community here.

Pat, a former teacher in the US Department of Defense schools who was born in Louisiana and lives in Panama, mostly writes children’s books and has lately specialized in bilingual works. Her latest English-Spanish opus is, if only one of the languages is taken into account, written for kids at about a second or third grade level.

That depends, of course, on a number of variables. (My estimates of such things are surely skewed by my own experiences of being more advanced at reading than most of my classmates and my seven and one-half years of working in a day care center with a high proportion of professors’ and other professionals’ kids, who likewise tended to pick up reading skills earlier than others their age.) For children learning Spanish or English as a second language, the grade level may be a bit higher.

This book is also an impressive work of art by Andrea Alvarado, who was born in Panama. Her style in this book combines ink, pencil, charcoal and watercolor --- or that’s the appearance, anyway --- and uses basic drawing methods that an elementary school student might well learn, in a most sophisticated and beautiful way. Thus The Little Rainbow Princess - La Princesita del Arco Iris is not only useful for teaching English- or Spanish-speaking kids to read their own language, or to pick up the other language, it can also be used to help teach art at elementary schools.

On the Spanish side of the text, the editing help of Panamanian writers Ernesto Endara and Berta Alicia Chen is also noteworthy.

This is the tale of a kingdom with a climate something akin to England, Oregon or the Darien --- lots of rain and skies dominated by shades of gray. The princess throws a party, which includes a contest whose object is to color the place up. It’s a simple plot that teaches a couple of fundamental aspects of morality and aesthetics.

So is Panama as a matter of law now interested in teaching English on an elementary school level? This is a good text for that purpose. Because it also functions as a Spanish text and a tool of art instruction and because it’s small and relatively inexpensive, The Little Rainbow Princess should be an even more attractive choice for Panama’s public schools, in which the cost of educational materials is a key limiting factor. (Whether you’re a school system looking to buy in bulk or an individual in search of a Christmas stocking stuffer, contact Pat by email at to talk about prices.)

In the United States bilingual education is a political minefield and in recent years shifting public opinions have set back the cause of learning foreign languages in many places. However, in most communities elementary curriculum decisions are locally determined except for a few mandates coming from the state level, plus there are private alternatives for parents who for one reason or another don’t wish to limit their kids’ educations to what the politics of the time and place will bear. Add to that the fact that by population the United States is a much bigger Spanish-speaking country than Panama is, and this text becomes useful in the many American elementary education settings in which Spanish is taught to Anglo children, or in which Hispanic kids are learning English as a second language.

Pat’s new book, like some of her other bilingual works for children, meets needs in both the Latin American and North American markets. Thanks in large part to Andrea’s illustrations, it does so in a most elegant fashion. If these truths are ever recognized in the purchasing decisions of some of the larger school systems north of the Rio Grande, then we will be talking about an important Panamanian breakthrough in the international publishing industry.

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Reader Reviews for "La Princesita del Arco Iris - The Little Rainbow Princess"

Reviewed by Angela Watkins 3/21/2008
I love an array of colors. Thanks for sharing your article.

The Little Rainbow

Angela Doreathy Glass Watkins

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