Let Me Help!/¡Quiero ayudar!

By Alma Flor Ada • Illustrated by Angela Domínguez
Lee & Low Books • 2012 • 32 pages
Paperback ($8.95)
ISBN: 978-0-89239-239-1
Ages 8-10

Precious lessons are bundled in this fun read that presents a slice of ethnic pride as it teaches perseverance. In San Antonio, Texas, a family prepares to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Brilliant color illustrations and an impeccable translation depict the joyous tradition in English and Spanish. A short introduction explains the fiesta’s origin in the historic defeat of French invaders in Mexico.

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Everyone in the household is busy with preparations and shoos away the pet parrot, Perico, who wants to participate. At home, he is turned away from helping with the tamales, the decorations, and the folkloric dances. So he sets out looking for other opportunities to help. In the street, the musicians and the baker of pan dulce also turn him away. Time after time, Perico offers his help but is rejected. Then, when the family’s river barge loses its decorative crown of flowers as it floats under a bridge, Perico swoops in to save their day. A powerful little story about not giving up, despite the odds!

Reviewed by Gisela Norat, Ph.D., Agnes Scott College, Atlanta Georgia