From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—The two sprightly protagonists of this charming title have a lot in common. Their names are similar (Margarita and Margaret), and that's just for starters. They are close in age, in the same class in school, and like to do the same things. They are most alike, however, in their insistence on doing things in their own distinctive ways—"a mi manera.
" From greetings to hairdos, from napping preferences to art forms—they have their unique styles and they like what they like. But there are those times when they enjoy throwing people off and mixing things up a bit, doing things "a tu manera
." They agree entirely on one thing: the best way of doing things is together. This upbeat tale of independence and the interdependence of close friendship is perfect for children who are beginning to identify with friends while still wanting to maintain their individuality. The text, alternating Spanish and English, bears the imprint of childhood in its simple prose. The bright, open watercolor cartoon illustrations are engaging, presenting a madcap duo with charm, originality, and a strong bond.—Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA
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This bilingual picture book has a mirror-image structure that simultaneously reflects the individuality and interconnectedness between two similarly named little girls. Each child does things her way, but every once in a while, one girl tries something the way the other girl does it. Margaret wears her hair in pigtails; Margarita has two braids. Then they switch, and by the end of the book, each girl has one pigtail and one braid. The book effectively communicates both the value of friendship and of friends understanding and accepting one another. The bilingual presentation enriches the story as it describes the same activity in both languages, with the differences appearing in the illustrations. There's no stereotyping here, and Reiser stresses what the friends have in common rather than their differences, whether the girls are getting dressed, doing art projects, or having lunch. Larra ClarkCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved