I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its illustrations. I am a really big fan of paintings of people, and the nine daughters, mother, and Prince Pajaro...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this book and its illustrations. I am a really big fan of paintings of people, and the nine daughters, mother, and Prince Pajaro Verde in multiple body forms were really awesome to look at. Also, I love the two pages of Mirabel's journey when she talks to the Moon and the Sun and the Wind.
If you haven't already figured it out, this book has a LOT in common with East of the Sun and West of the Moon and by extension the story of Psyche. Still, this is not a Northern story, it's a New Mexican story, and that definitely does change it, but you won't be surprised with how the story goes.
I'm mostly excited to own this book because its a New Mexican story that is very naturally told in two languages, and the English version has lots of Spanish mixed up in it.
Its a little too long to be a book I would want to read EVERY night, but once a week seems like it would be manageable. (less)
I loved loved loved the illustrations in this book and I loved the relationship between father and son. I liked the back and forth between the two, th...moreI loved loved loved the illustrations in this book and I loved the relationship between father and son. I liked the back and forth between the two, the Spanish that his father spoke and the boy's understanding of it. There were a couple of times that the explanation of the Spanish felt like a translation instead of part of the boy's voice/thoughts, which brought made it less than 100% perfect for me, but I still felt like this is one of the best books representing language in intergenerational U.S. Latin@ families that I've gotten my hands on. It is also true, as a couple of people have noted, that there isn't exactly a narrative to this book, but I don't think that's a problem since there are a ton of children's books that aren't stories, just showing things and sharing experiences. That said, I did think it COULD have had a little more narrative to it and held together even a little more. In the end, I think this was more 4.5 than 4, but I am being stingy with my stars today. (less)
This book is feminist in the bestest way. Women's voices are magical, but women silence themselves from shame until the end brings the three generatio...moreThis book is feminist in the bestest way. Women's voices are magical, but women silence themselves from shame until the end brings the three generations of women's voices together in ways that not only lift them up, but lift up their entire community (literally!). So. Good.
Not to mention, I am now 100% clear that Yuyi Morales can do no wrong with a paintbrush in hand.
I think that the text looks good on the page, too, and found myself reading one page in English and one in Spanish. There's not too much there, so it's easy to read aloud, but it is also not (imho) beginner Spanish, so I think it's better for people who are already bilingual and can switch between. Or, you know, just stick to the English if you don't know Spanish, cuz it's AWESOME. (less)
This book followed the very successful Just A Minute and follows the same premise. The story is in English, the alphabet is the Spanish alphabet (comp...moreThis book followed the very successful Just A Minute and follows the same premise. The story is in English, the alphabet is the Spanish alphabet (complete with the letter "ch") and the words are Spanish words, all chosen as presents for Grandma Beetle, who you will remember from the first book. I have a feeling that Just A Minute is a lot better than this, though of course the art is class Yuyi Morales and thus beautiful. In this one the shallow plot sort of weirdly conflicted with the alphabet for me, and the words of the alphabet felt totally random. I liked the ending, but I would still give the story 2 stars and the art 4. (less)