Animal Jamboree: Latino Folktales/La fiesta de los animals: Leyendas latinas
By Judith Ortiz Cofer • Illustrated by Ted Dawson & Giovanni Mora
Translated by Natalia Rosales-Yeomans
Piñata Books • 2012 • 96 pages
Trade Paperback ($9.95)
“Mami, read me a story!” is always music to our ears, and this book should make those words sing in your home. The brightly colored, humorous animals on the cover will delight children, and the fact that the book may be turned over to be read in English or Spanish should appeal to parents and caretakers looking to reinforce the languages.
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Dawson and Mora’s culturally appropriate, full-page artwork parallels each story as it aids in telling it. The four fast-paced Latino folktales are rich in detail, vocabulary, and story line. The first uses hungry lions to make a point about friendship. The second features a brave and helpful ant. The third tells an age-old story of naïve mice and a clever cat. The last showcases a parrot that likes chorizo (sausage). It should be noted that this one includes an allusion to violence (the cook threatens to put the parrot in the pot). Nonetheless, the collection is appropriate for beginning readers, and offers enough opportunities for learning and sharing to make it a favorite of mamis and abuelitas for years to come.
—Reviewed by Bianca Elliott, PhD., High School and University Educator