Reminiscent of ``Never Spit on Your Shoes '' in its style and narrative technique, Cazet's latest school story is sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases. After her first day of kindergarten, Margarita has much to share with her proud Papa. Margarita's ``amigos nuevos'' include classmates Susie, who cries all day and can even ``cry and sing at the same time,'' and Juan Alberto, whose face balloons when he discovers ``allergies in the beans.'' Attentive Papa reassures Margarita that she is not, as the arrogant first graders would have it, a ``kindergarten baby, born in the gravy''; on the contrary, she was born in Guadalajara. Energetic drawings depict a variety of comical and near-calamitous events, giving the reader a school day that's as packed with action as a three-ring circus. The perky pictures are liberally accompanied by dialogue balloons, which add dimension to the story and frequently aim their humor at a grown-up audience. The snippets of Spanish tucked into the text are never translated outright; the context, and the clever use of dialogue, allow readers to grasp the meaning of unfamiliar words. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
- Marilyn Courtot
Margarita rushes ecstatically into her father's arms. She has just completed her first day at kindergarten. He takes her to the ice cream parlor and listens attentively while she tells him all about her exciting day. The story is laced with Spanish words as Papa interjects his comments and observations while Margarita tells her story. All the mishaps and misunderstandings are amusing; it is a book that parents will enjoy reading aloud and to which all kindergartners and preschools can relate. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Celebrating at an ice-cream parlor, Mexican-American Margarita tells her father all about her first day at school-how kindergarteners are called ``babies born in the gravy'' by the first graders, and how Susie cried all day for her mama. Susie and her mother are also at the parlor, and she and Margarita end up singing the ``Goodbye'' school song and sitting together. Cazet has filled several needs with this title. A book with Hispanic characters is always welcome, as is one on going to school for the first time. The story also touches on making a new friend-a reassuring theme for preschoolers. Best of all, it presents a tender, sympathetic, and caring relationship between a father and daughter. The author cleverly intersperses Spanish words and phrases with the English without losing the thread of the conversation. The cartoon illustrations are adequate and portray the children humorously. This book is sure to become a favorite, especially in communities that have a large Hispanic population.-Judy Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Margarita's lively retelling of her first day in kindergarten to her papa is sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases, true to the speech patterns of most bilingual children. Margarita's descriptions of her day are followed by comments on the teacher and every classmate, and the spirited dialogue between father and daughter depicts their warm and caring relationship. The child's perspective provides some humorous moments, such as when Margarita questions her father after having heard the first-graders sing, "Kindergarten babies born in the gravy." "Was I born in the gravy, papa? Nacida en la salsa?" "No. You were born in Guadalajara." Cazet's brightly colored illustrations depict various commonly known first-day-at-kindergarten scenes that are sure to amuse young children.