Here we have a great Spanish book; a resource I would recommend to students ages 8 and up. The book is organized by chapters - each chapter has the same picture on it, though, and I wish they had changed it up a bit, to offer some labeling or coloring in Spanish, or just for interest. However, the chapters are organized by subject matter - things like manners, shopping, eating, questions to ask, body parts, etc, and are easy to find.
The vocabulary lists are not too overwhelming, and yet have enough words to be helpful. Each chapter has an area dedicated to grammatical tips and helpful points to keep you from making common mistakes. They are presented in small boxes that are easily ignored, if it's too much, or quite helpful if you choose to make use of them.
THE BIG CON: Though there is a nice alphabet guide in the front of the book that is fairly straight forward, the book as a whole fails in giving good explanation of the way Spanish words actually SOUND. For confidence building, this is a MUST. On the words lists, there is NO phonetic spelling for individual words. I count this as a huge drawback for parents and students who are not familiar with Spanish pronunciation.
All in all, if you know how Spanish sounds, and are familiar with what each letter sounds like, and confident in reading Spanish, this is a good vocabulary builder. I do like all the activities and think they are well suited for children ages 8 to 12. The tone and ease of reading also is good for this age group, and provides a low stress, casual approach to the language, which is wonderful for retention. But if you are iffy on how to read Spanish, use this as a follow up, not an introduction.
Spanish Teacher and Creator of Flip Flop Language Series
Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 3-5: Level 1 (Book + CD)
Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 6-9: Level 1 (Book + Audio CD)
Spanish Fun Activity Calendar