En Boca Cerrada no entran Moscas, by Adriana Ramírez
New addition to our MOSCA collection, from Adriana Ramírez!
Hay una mosca nueva en el jardín. La mosca de la casa la ve y siente algo en su corazón. La mosca de la casa está paralizada. Ella no sabe qué decir y no sabe qué hacer. La mosca de la casa sabe que, si no sabes qué decir, es mejor no hablar porque EN BOCA CERRADA NO ENTRAN MOSCAS. Pero… ¿cómo va a expresar sus sentimientos?
Con solo 113 familias de palabras y 28 cognados, EN BOCA CERRADA NO ENTRAN MOSCAS es un libro fácil de leer en español.
The POR SI LAS MOSCAS collection are easy-to-read books written for Spanish students. Each story is inspired by a typical saying or expression from our homelands, allowing us to discover the richness of the language through interesting stories, where the main character is a fly.
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This story is SO simple and SO repetitive that it could easily be independently read at the end of a level 1 class.
A fly falls in love with another fly -- and gender is irrelevant because "La Mosca" is the word for all flies. It is overt and deliberate in its celebration of "love is love." I am confident that this is the first pansexual book about flies. There is a parallel love story between the human couple living in the house that serves as a model for what relationships should look like for flies. It touches on communication issues and how to navigate a first love.
En boca cerrada no entran moscas -- a closed mouth attracts no flies. This book belongs in all libraries, whether or not you as a teacher choose to talk about it. It can fly under the radar as a book about idiomatic expressions in Spanish, but will be understood by the students who most need to hear it. Or it can launch a conversation about the accepting world the author is trying to communicate.
On one hand, this book is very simple: the main character, Mosca, experiences new feelings and builds a relationship with a beloved garden fly. On the other hand, the book is philosophically complex: it views life through a phenomenological lens by centering the in-the-moment, subjective perceptions of Mosca, instead of conforming to the typical Western tendency to dissect and classify such experiences according to preset labels and categories. Mosca makes it clear that, for her, such labels are irrelevant; what matters to her is her experience of love. This phenomenological lens may be refreshing to readers, especially teens, who wish to resist preoccupying themselves with category labels in favor of simply experiencing and living life in all its richly-textured complexity.
Readers whose first language is not Spanish will likely benefit from the author’s afterword explaning the Spanish grammatical feature of ‘epicene nouns’--nouns that assign grammatical gender to animals irrespective of individual animals’ biological sex--as this understanding is crucial for readers’ understanding of central aspects of the story. Readers will also benefit from the foreword discussion of the idiomatic phrase, "En boca cerrada no entran moscas," in this most recent installment of the "Por si las moscas" series which explores idioms in Spanish.
Full disclosure: The author of this review served as a beta reader for the manuscript of this book.