Nichole Hurst's Reviews > Chato's Kitchen

Chato's Kitchen by Gary Soto
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A clever little story about a cool cat, Chato, and his friend Novio Boy scheme up a sly little plan to trick the new neighbors to coming over for a welcome dinner. The neighbors are a family of ratoncitos (mice)! Chato and Novio Boy were planning to eat their new neighbors, but the ratoncitos outsmarted the two and brought a dog to dinner along witht them. In the end, Chato realizes that making friends is more imporant than eating the mice. The illustrations provide further understanding of the story line, and I found myself looking at the pictures before and after reading the text. The illustrator uses a variety of bright colorful oil pastels to bring out the texture of Chato and the garden. In addition, the illustrations are helpful because there are a handful of spanish words used throughout the book. If one didn't understand the meaning of the spanish word, the picture makes it clear what Soto meant. Also, there is a Spanish dictionary at the beggining of the book as a reference.

I would use this book in a second or third grade classroom. Reading this book as a read aloud to students will introduce students to the Hispanic culture, spanish words, and teach student how to make predictions and inferenes.
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