Learning with Canticos: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play with The Birthday Book/Las Mañanitas

By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

Canticos books are too much fun to reach just once!  Read them with your little boy or girl again and again and find something new to learn each time. 


Here are some tips to help you maximize the learning and fun with the fourth book in the Canticos book series: The Birthday Book/Las Mañanitas – inspired by the classic Mexican birthday song “Las Mañanitas” (The Mornings). This song is sung to wake up a child on the morning of his/her birthday, it’s a fixture at every birthday party.  


  1. Talk

Use the book to talk about your child’s birthday. How did you celebrate his/her last birthday? Talk about the cake, the games, the friends that were part of it. Ask him/her what they would like to do for the next one? How would they like to celebrate? What theme would they like? Who do they want to be there?


  1. Sing

Sing the song and do it twice to double the fun! Check out our bilingual sing-along video to see the lyrics and to hear the pronunciation in Spanish. The video features Sammy the bunny and a traditional Mexican birthday celebration with cake, candy, and of course – a piñata!


  1. Read

Read the book twice to double the birthday fun! 

Novelty book: Interject your own sounds and commentary as you lift the flaps. For example, start by opening the first flap with a rooster crow. On the second flap you can say “Wake up snuggle bunny!” to the birthday bunny who doesn’t want to wake up. Play peek-a-boo with the next characters who pop up to surprise the birthday bunny. Read the story once in English. Flip the book and read it in Spanish. Open the book across to see all spreads and: 1. Lay it flat on the floor to see the whole story or 2. Stand it up and connect the ends into a circle to sit inside and be surrounded by the story.

Board book: Pick one language to read the story through to the end. Start again in the second language. 


  1. Write

Take out your arts & crafts box and make a birthday card for a friend or family member’s upcoming birthday. Sing Las Mañanitas and personalize it for each birthday you’ll be celebrating. 


  1. Play

Pretend it’s your child’s birthday and wake him/her up with the song. Act out a birthday party complete with cake eating and piñata breaking. Open an imaginary gift and eat imaginary cake with all their stuffed animals.

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