From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Juan Bobo, the Puerto Rican equivalent of Foolish Jack, can't seem to get anything right. Sent off by his mother to find work, he causes one disaster after another, and manages to lose or destroy his payment in a variety of amusing ways. As luck would have it, one of the boy's misadventures brings laughter to the rich man's daughter, and Juan at last receives compensation that he can hold on to. Montes tells her story well, but Cepeda's illustrations steal the show. Using his distinctive, vibrantly colored acrylics, the artist creates a character whose innocence, confusion, and contrition are endearing. The text is heavily peppered with Spanish phrases, but a glossary and an author's note are included. Another lively addition to folktale shelves.Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3-8. In this Puerto Rican parallel to Lazy Jack, Juan Bobo has the same problems with coins, milk, cheese, and other payments as his English counterpart. When Juan makes the rich girl laugh, however, her father repays him with a ham every Sunday. This altered ending fits the setting but occurs abruptly. Otherwise, the funny, well-paced retelling smoothly incorporates Spanish words and phrases. Most are easily understood in context, but an appended glossary provides pronunciations as well as definitions. An author's note adds cultural background about Juan Bobo but cites no specific source for the story. Using bold, bright Caribbean colors, Cepeda's oil paintings amplify Juan's silliness and charm. Brush strokes add texture, and background details establish the Puerto Rican setting. An obvious candidate for multicultural units, this will be popular wherever children love to laugh. Linda PerkinsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved