No EnglishNo English
By Jacqueline Jules
Illustrated by Amy Huntington
Published by Spry Publishing/Mitten Press

“…This gentle story succeeds in showing that there is much for children coming from other countries to get used to in school, which means that settling down to formal learning is a gradual process that requires a lot of respect and understanding.” –Aline Pereira, Paper Tigers

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Description
“No English” is all that Blanca, the new girl from Argentina, says. She spends her time drawing pictures instead of doing class work and that hardly seems fair to second-grader Diane. One misunderstanding follows another until Diane begins to see how afraid Blanca must feel in their classroom. Their teacher, Mrs. Bertram, helps her class understand that “different” is just different, not strange or weird. She encourages them to learn about Blanca’s home country. Diane must make things right, but how will she do that when they don’t speak the same language?

Reviews & Accolades
Forward National Literature First Place Award for Picture/Children’s Books, 2012

No English is a lovely story of how friendship can overcome the boundaries of language…Blanca and Diane become the best of friends and eventually Blanca overcomes her inability to speak and understand English…This would be an excellent addition to any elementary school library collection.” –Children’s Literature

“Second-grader Diane has some difficulties with a new student from Argentina due to their lack of a common language, until the girls realize that they can communicate through their drawings. The story subtly explains how miscommunication and misunderstandings can happen on both sides, without being didactic. The watercolor pictures are realistic, offering varied facial expressions and lots of diversity in the classroom, and the pictures correlate well with the text…An additional purchase for libraries looking for more titles about new ESL students.” –Natasha Forrester, School Library Journal

“…a lovely story of a cross-cultural friendship by Jacqueline Jules…Diane is a nice girl at heart and soon has second thoughts, figuring out that words aren’t always needed to communicate.” –Elizabeth Ward, The Washington Post

“All of us have had the experience of being new in an unfamiliar place at one time or another. For young Blanca, recently arrived from Argentina, this moment happens when she starts elementary school in the United States…Huntington’s soft watercolor illustrations do a great job of capturing the puzzled look of both Blanca and her classmates, who don’t yet know how to relate. From an awkward and confusing first day at school, where misunderstandings happen between her and classmate Diana, to her first  experience of friendship and inclusion, Blanca’s path is one trailed by many children of immigrants in the United States…This gentle story succeeds in showing that there is much for children coming from other countries to get used to in school, which means that settling down to formal learning is a gradual process that requires a lot of respect and understanding. Blanca’s journey also conveys to children that a little kindness and sensitivity go a long way when it comes to kids struggling to adapt to new surroundings, in school or out.” –Aline Pereira, Paper Tigers

Groups Represented
Argentinean American

Themes
Multicultural  friendship, learning English, immigration

Setting
United States elementary school

Author Research
TBA

Engagement Projects
VIEW the book trailer

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