Here is my review of La Casa de la Dentista by Señor Wooly and Juan Carlos Pinilla
According to Dr. Stephen Krashen, graphic novels and comic books are becoming a new and highly effective way to acquire a new language. They are often visually captivating, highly compelling, and contain useful vocabulary structures. The new graphic novel by Señor Wooly with illustrations by Juan Carlos Pinilla is no exception. La Casa de la Dentista will be a hit with your students.
Geared towards beginner and intermediate Spanish students, (6th grade and higher) La Casa de la Dentista is another great book to help develop fluency. A spin off from the popular La Dentista song, we find out more about the house of the dentista who has no teeth. The book begins with Carolina, a little girl whose parents have no teeth. She has a nightmare of a dentist removing her teeth and finds out that there might be some truth to her nightmare. The legend of La Dentista haunts her school, her town, and herself. One day she and her friends enter the Dentista’s house and without knowing it, they enter into her own nightmare. Will they be able to escape the horror of la Dentista? Will they keep their teeth clean? Will they be able to brush their teeth ever again?
This is Señor Wooly’s second graphic novel after Billy y las Botas. Written in Illinois, illustrated in Colombia, edited in Spain, and lettering done in Argentina, it is a true international effort. Though it is inspired by the 2011 music video, La Dentista, readers do not have to have seen the video in order to understand the novel. It is available in Señor Wooly’s store in hardcover or in paperback of 10+ copies.
This comic book has endless possibilities in the classroom. Here are some possible lesson ideas with La Casa de la Dentista:
–Kindergarten Day: Read it aloud to your students. Have your students sit in a circle as you read to them. Read a page and then show the illustrations. (It is your choice to read every single sentence or pick and choose. You can also just talk about the illustrations)
–Free Voluntary Reading: Add it to your classroom library. It will certainly be a popular reader.
–Class Novel: It can be read as part of a supernatural/fears unit. You can pre-teach the necessary vocabulary structures and read it as a class. There are some great scenes for Reader’s Theater as well. Teaching with a graphic novel is different and Señor Wooly has tips on how to do that.
–Teacher’s Guide: The graphic novel contains a digital teacher’s guide that has PowerPoints, an original song, and a circling guide.
No matter your feeling about going to the dentist, students will definitely connect to La Casa de la Dentista and will not be able to stop reading it. After the last page, the story will certainly remain with them for a long time.
Here are other reviews of La Casa de la Dentista:
Allison Wienhold-Mis Clases Locas | Cynthia Hitz-Teaching Spanish with Comprehensible Input | Maris Hawkins | Arianne Dowd-Discovering CI | Martina Bex–Comprehensible Classroom | Kelly Ferguson-Compelling Instruction | Kara Jacobs