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August 10, 2016
Anyone who grew up in a Latino family is familiar with El Chavo del Ocho. Created by Mexican comedian Roberto Gómez Bolaños—also known as Chespirito, or Little Shakespeare—it’s arguably the most popular, influential, and enduring Spanish-language TV show ever created.
If I had to sum up El Chavo in a few words, I’d say it’s like a gritty, puppet-less version of Sesame Street. Chavo, played by Chespirito himself, is an orphan who lives in a barrel. Along with a ragtag cast of neighbors and friends (all played by adults), he goes about daily life in his neighborhood (la vecindad), making mischief and learning the occasional lesson. Though the last new episode of El Chavo was produced in the early 1990s, it still airs all across North and South America. In fact, about 90 million people a day watch an El Chavo rerun!
On top of that, in 2006, El Chavo: The Animated Series aired for the first time. With all the familiar characters and catchphrases from the live-action show, it has caught on with El Chavo fans and new viewers alike. (My favorite part: the kids are actually kids, not adults with freckles drawn on.)
That’s why we’re thrilled that Scholastic has teamed up with Univision to create bilingual picture books and readers inspired by the animated series. The books feature lively illustrations and loads of silliness, and we think kids who speak Spanish or English (or both!) will love further exploring la vecindad with Chavo and his pals.
Check out this spring’s Club Leo en español flyer to find the newest El Chavo adventures—and visit Club Leo at scholastic.com/readingclub for more of our favorite Spanish and bilingual books.
About the Author: Morgan Walker is an Assistant Merchandising Manager for the 4th Grade, Lucky, Arrow, and Club Leo flyers.
March 3, 2015