From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–When José sees Rosita, he can hardly wait to ask her for una cita
, but the bonita
girl requires her vaquero
to have mucho dinero
. So, with the help of his horse, Feo, José enters the rodeo hoping to win the necessary funds. After a successful ride on a dangerous bronco, he is rico
enough for Rosita; however, in a surprising twist, he chooses friendship over beauty and spends his money on dinner for Feo. Afterward, the two ride off into the sunset together. This story has something for everyone: friendship, greed, danger, and a happy ending. Elya's engaging text features snappy rhymes and plenty of contextual clues for the Spanish words that appear in bold type. The rhyming scheme helps non-Spanish speakers with pronunciation, and a glossary at the beginning of the book provides phonetic guides and definitions. Raglin's watercolor-and-colored-pencil artwork features bright south-of-the-border colors and characters in traditional dress to accentuate the story's Mexican setting. The illustrations, especially the facial expressions, add depth and humor to the story. This rollicking tale is ideal for storytime sharing.–Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
K-Gr. 1. The plot of this story-in-verse may be insubstantial (a Mexican cowboy wants to impress a gold-digging senorita), but Elya's lazy, clippety-clopping rhythms are irresistible: "Caballo and cowboy--their friendship is strong. They ride 'cross the prairie and belt out a song. They sing canciones. Jose plays maracas. 'Get along, little dogies, get along, little vacas.'" Such self-consciously hokey lines pair seamlessly with Raglin's slick, comic artwork, which owes an obvious debt to Saturday morning cartoons. As in Elya's Oh No! Gotta Go
the text shifts gracefully between English and Spanish, and a glossary, together with frequent visual and contextual clues, bring meanings to light for greenhorns. There is no pronunciation key to explain the glossary's phonetic formulations (BYEHN for bien,
for example), but the beauty of bilingual poetry--in which bowl
might be rhymed with the Spanish sol--
is that the pronunciation lesson is implicit.
This will pair nicely with Eric Kimmel's Cactus Soup
[BKL S 15 04],
perhaps for a Cinco de Mayo storytime. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved