Berto and His Good Ideas – by Magaly Rodriguez (Basic Level) Translated by Blaine Ray
For true beginners.  Short and easy and very amusing.

Berto is an eleven-year-old boy who lives in Madrid, Spain.  His best friend is Paquita.  Poor Berto has one big problem.  He does not like school.  He does not like to study.  He does not like to do homework.  Besides, his teachers are really strange.

Fortunately, Berto has a lot of good ideas.  He thinks of many fun and exciting things to do rather than going to school.  His good ideas include visiting a soccer stadium and an art museum with his friend Paquita.  Berto also thinks about eating delicious pastries at a bakery and rowing a boat in a park.  Berto thinks these are good ideas.  In fact, he thinks they are great ideas.  Are they really?

Chapter Five – Berto and the Precious Park

Instead of going to school…Instead of playing soccer….Instead of going to the Reina Sofia Museum….Instead of going to the pastry shop….Paula and I can go to Retiro Park.

Retiro Park is very famous here in Madrid.  It is like Central Park in New York.  It is big and beautiful.  It is amazing.

There is a lake with some boats in the park.  There are people in the boats.  The people are rowing the boats.  Women are rowing the boats.  Everybody is rowing.  It is very fun!

I look at Paul and tell her, “Paula, I want to row a boat.  Let’s row a boat.  It is fun!”

Paula responds, “Yes, That is a good idea.”

Paula and I get in a boat.  It is an enormous boat.  It is red, green, yellow, black and white.  It is the perfect boat for me.  I am very strong.  Yes, I am stronger than Hercules.  I can row very fast because I am very strong.

I start rowing.  I am rowing very well.  I am rowing like a professional when suddenly…I see a frog.  Yes, I see a frog.  It is a giant ugly frog.  The giant ugly frog jumps once….jumps twice…..jumps three times…..he jumps and jumps and jumps.  The giant ugly frog jumps on my face.

I yell loudly, “AHHHHHHHHHHH! Help!”

The frog is on my face.  It is horrible.  I jump and I fall from the boat.  Yes, I fall from the boat.  I fall into the lake.  I am wet.  My clothing is wet.  My shirt is wet.  My pants are wet.  My shoes are wet.  My socks are wet.  My jacket is wet.  Everything is wet.  Yes, it is true.


  1.  Where do Berto and Paula go now?
  2. Is Retiro Park famous in Madrid?
  3. Where is Central Park?
  4. Where is Retiro Park?
  5. Is there a lake in the park?
  6. What is on the lake?
  7. Who are in the boats?
  8. Are women or men rowing the boats?
  9. Does Berto want to row a boat?
  10. Does Paula want to row a boat?
  11. Is the boat big or little?
  12. What color is the boat?
  13. Who is strong?
  14. Can Berto row fast?
  15. What does Berto see when he is rowing?
  16. Is the frog pretty or ugly?
  17. Where does the frog jump?
  18. What happens when the frog jumps on Berto’s face?
  19. Who falls into the lake?
  20. Who is wet?

Berto and His Good Ideas is published by:
Blaine Ray Workshops, which features TPR Storytelling products and related materials.
Command Performance Language Institute, which features Total Physical Response products and other fine products related to language acquisition and teaching.
Cover art by Pol (
First Edition published June, 2013.
Copyright 2013 by Blaine Ray.  All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from Blaine Ray.