With a large variety of titles available for ages preschool to 18, and an especially strong collection for ages three to 12, this digital library is an exciting resource that will help bridge the gaps in Spanish collections for youth.
Grade Level PreS Up
cost Varies, depending on the number of titles selected for purchase and schools or branches.
Content This database collection of more than 1,200 Spanish-language ebooks includes picture books, read-alongs, and interactive books from more than 50 Latin American publishers and is available for schools and public libraries. SLJ reviewed the school edition.
After accessing the database through the login screen, students view dashboards of their information, avatar, earned badges, reading hours, teacher recommendations, book clubs, and favorite books. Quick access is available to titles currently being read. The left-side navigation menu also provides links to badges and book clubs as well as to the catalog of available books. Students can search using filters, with More Options to narrow down by subjects, such as Sciences and Fiction, or by type, such as Novel, Comic, or Picture Book. Rows of featured books are shown, and students can click on See All for more titles in the categories. The featured titles include Spanish-language originals and translations of English works. There are English words sprinkled throughout, and there’s an option to select ES/EN to change the language of the interface.
When clicking on a title, users are taken to the book’s Basic information page, which includes title, author and contributors, publisher, and a summary. Rectangular icons identify the book’s category: La niña del pelo corto is categorized as Lectores intermedios (Chapter Books), Materia Narrativa (Novels), and Libro album (Picture Books & Highly Illustrated Books). Users can choose to view a few pages or to read the entire book. Next to the Basic Information tab there is one for More details, eg, recommended ages, estimated reading time, and competencies included. Users can also use word tags they can click on to find titles with similar subjects. Toward the bottom of the book’s page, there are additional recommendations.
Users can preview a book; a small window pops up and allows them to view the first few pages. When choosing to read the entire book, a large window opens that fills the entire screen. The small hamburger menu on the upper left lists the sections of the book and allows users to move to different sections. Clicking on the Discover+ (Discover) button allows users to find guides with activities, reading comprehension questions, and similar titles in the database; Volver (Return) allows them to return to the book’s informational page.
Interactive books have a small square icon in the bottom right-hand corner that features a hand clicking on a button. When selecting these books, users can also expand to full screen and find similar titles using the Discover+ icon. These titles have music and animation and are read aloud to users, who can use the left and right arrows to move forward or backward in the story.
The database is web-based and compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, and Apple computers, tablets, and phones; pages adjust to the device’s screen size. Google Chrome is recommended for viewing.
Student and teacher resources Statistics such as user sessions, time spent reading, and most-read books and categories are included in the dashboards. Reading experiences are personalized with each student having a reading dashboard of favorite books and badges. Teachers can recommend books to students and create reading clubs for them. Teachers can also view the complete list of books they have selected for their students as well as links to resources. The MakeMake Blog includes posts that highlight suggested readings as well as links to other resources, such as YouTube videos. Many titles have free activity guides and more are being added. Fountas and Pinnell reading levels will be indicated in the near future.
verdict With a large variety of titles available for ages preschool to 18, and an especially strong collection for ages three to 12, this digital library provides an excellent way for schools and public libraries to increase their Spanish-language titles for youth, which are difficult to acquire in physical formats. The multiuser simultaneous access allows multiple patrons and students to access titles at any time. Titles and collections are great for browsing, including for curriculum and resources for projects and lessons. Statistics allow teachers and librarians insight into trends and use of ebooks. The layout is easy to navigate and visually appealing; titles and collections are easy to find, browse and view; and the titles are high quality and share history and information about peoples all over the world. An exciting resource that will help bridge the gaps in Spanish collections for youth.
Selenia Paz, previously at Harris County Public Library, TX.