Welcome to My Neighborhood! A Barrio ABC

By Quiara Alegría Hudes • Illustrated by Shino Arihara
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic • 2010 • 32 pages
Hardcover ($16.99)
ISBN: 97805450924245
Ages 4-8

“A is for abuela.  And abandoned car.”  Parents will know from the first page of this book whether or not it is right for their family.  Welcome to My Neighborhood! A Barrio ABC does not sugarcoat the neighborhood it describes. This is not an idealized, pristine, American suburbia.  The neighborhood in this book is gritty and noisy, which may make some readers uncomfortable, but is precisely why others will enjoy it.

The neighborhood in this book is real, urban, and unapologetic in its celebration of all that can be found within it—from the corner stores and public transportation, to its community gardens and broken bottles.  The objects that can be found in this neighborhood are as diverse as the people who live in it, and all is celebrated in both the muted illustrations and the text, which weaves together Spanish and English words as it moves through the alphabet.


Parents can enjoy this title with their children by using it to talk about their own communities: How is where we live similar to or different from the neighborhood in this book?  What do you love about where we live?  Let’s take a walk around the block and see if we can find the letters of the alphabet in our own neighborhood! This is likely a love-it or hate-it kind of book…and this reviewer definitely comes down on the side of love-it!

Review by Katie Cunningham, Library Professional and Blogger,¡Es Divertido Hablar Dos Idiomas!