The Best Mariachi in the World

( 1 )

Overview

Named one of the best children's books of 2008 by Criticas, the one-stop source for reviews of new adult and children's titles for Spanish-language titles. Everyone in Gustavo's family is in a mariachi band . . . Everyone except Gustavo, that is. They all play violines, trompetas and guitarrones. They all make wonderful music in restaurants and at wedding parties. Gustavo would love to join the band, but he can't play any of the instruments. What's a wannabe mariachi to do? Follow Gustavo as he finds his place in...

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Overview

Named one of the best children's books of 2008 by Criticas, the one-stop source for reviews of new adult and children's titles for Spanish-language titles. Everyone in Gustavo's family is in a mariachi band . . . Everyone except Gustavo, that is. They all play violines, trompetas and guitarrones. They all make wonderful music in restaurants and at wedding parties. Gustavo would love to join the band, but he can't play any of the instruments. What's a wannabe mariachi to do? Follow Gustavo as he finds his place in the family mariachi band. The book is currently available in English, Spanish and bilingual editions. Beautifully illustrated with bright, vibrant colors, this is a charming tale about finding one's own talent. Gustavo was born to a family of Mariachis, but can't be part of the family band because he can't play any instruments. That is, until the town discovers that he has a great singing voice.

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Editorial Reviews

bookscentral.com
The story itself is simplistic. Young readers will have no trouble navigating the words alone. The illustrations are simply gorgeous, with a blend of warm and cool colors splashing across each page. Each image tells such a strong story, the words often feel unnecessary. I look forward to more books from Raven Tree Press.
Childrens Book Review
A great little story about a boy and his numerous attempts to convince his family that he can be a part of their mariachi band. In addition to being an endearing tale about the timeless quest to find one's calling. There's also a handy guide at the back of the book with definitions and a little background information on Mariachi music. The reader gets a great story and some cultural references all rolled into one! Definitely a worthwhile read.
Latin Baby Book Club
I can't tell you, Amigas, how MUCH we thoroughly enjoy this book. If you have children, we highly recommend it. If you have little boys, it is a "must read." My son is two, and I think we have read this book almost every night for the last month. As soon as we lay down on the bed, his little hand reaches for it. Even my daughter favors this story over others.
The Reading Tub
What a sweet story. Gustavo is a wonderful character that kids can relate to, and the illustrator did a beautiful job capturing his feelings. As novice Spanish speakers, books that embed the language and use repetition to demonstrate context and vocabulary are easier for us to read. The illustrations are a wonderful complement to the story and while colorful, do not overwhelm the reader.
Washington Parent
Gustavo wants to be in the family mariachi band, but he can't play the violin, trumpet or guitar. He feels left out and unskilled. Many young readers will relate to Gustavo's feelings and to his yearning for a unique talent. The vivid illustrations show the boy, accompanied by his canine buddy, visiting the desert near his home in the early mornings. Gustavo finds the cacti and the sky's "black bowl of stars" so beautiful that he just has to sing - and in so doing, recognizes what he can best contribute to the band.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Gustavo wants to be in the family mariachi band but he can't play the violin, trumpet or guitar. He feels left out and unskilled. Many young readers will relate to Gustavo's feelings and to his yearning for a unique talent. The vivid illustrations show the boy, accompanied by his canine buddy, visiting the desert near his home in the early mornings. Gustavo finds the cacti and the sky's "black bowl of stars" so beautiful that he just has to sing—and in so doing, recognizes what he can best contribute to the band. Written in English, with concept words in Spanish, this charming story introduces young English speakers to another language and culture while the simple vocabulary and short sentences will help young Spanish speakers to develop a better understanding of English. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3–Miguel, who wants to be a mariachi singer, goes to different lengths to face his fears. He can’t play the trumpet, the violin, or guitar like everyone else in his family. Not finding the support he needs, he finally wanders for answers in the desert. Here the story finds its turning point. The beauty of the sound of nature, and the singing of the owl and the coyote give Miguel the strength to become a real mariachi. Moved by this magical moment, he becomes a great cantante, singer. This book sprinkles Spanish words into the English text. The target words are in red and only refer to the vocabulary related to the mariachi’s world. Yet the story and illustrations stand on their own and could be used in cultural programs or for parents to experiment and learn some Spanish vocabulary and cultural traditions. The wonderful gouache, oil, and colored-pencil illustrations show the landscape of the Southwestern desert. The bold graphic style and the colorful and whimsical characters create an upbeat feeling throughout.–Irania Macias Patterson, Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, NC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781887744980
  • Publisher: Raven Tree Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,358,891
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2009

    An Instant Classic with a Valuable Message

    Little Gustavo is the youngest member of a musically talented family. His search for his own talent, and his identity within the family is what's at the core of J.D. Smith's wonderful, touching story. The Best Mariachi in the World succeeds on every level. Its story is timeless, and the illustrations by Dani Jones are stunning. It's a book that parents and children alike will love.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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