Chato and the Party Animals

( 5 )


Chato, the coolest cat in el barrio, loves to party—but not his best buddy, Novio Boy. Birthday parties always make him blue. "I'm from the pound," he tells Chato. "I don't know when I was born. I never knew my mami. I never even had a birthday party, or nothing."So Chato plans the coolest surprise party for Novio Boy, inviting all of el barrio, and cooking up a storm. But he forgets the most important thing—inviting Novio Boy! Luckily, just as everyone starts remembering all the things they used to love about ...

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Chato, the coolest cat in el barrio, loves to party—but not his best buddy, Novio Boy. Birthday parties always make him blue. "I'm from the pound," he tells Chato. "I don't know when I was born. I never knew my mami. I never even had a birthday party, or nothing."So Chato plans the coolest surprise party for Novio Boy, inviting all of el barrio, and cooking up a storm. But he forgets the most important thing—inviting Novio Boy! Luckily, just as everyone starts remembering all the things they used to love about their long-lost friend, the birthday boy arrives with his own surprise—himself! In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called Chato's Kitchen "Wickedly funny...Guevara's cats are delicious send-ups of barrio characters, and Soto's words glisten with wit. Salud to this magical pairing of talents."

Chato decides to throw a "pachanga" for his friend Novio Boy, who has never had a birthday party, but when it is time to party, Novio Boy cannot be found.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] joyous celebration of friendship.…Irresistible." — School Library Journal, starred review
Publishers Weekly
Last seen in Chato's Kitchen, Chato the cat here learns that his best friend has never had a birthday party. Chato plans a pachanga [party] that would be absolutely lo mejor [the best]-if only he had remembered to invite the guest of honor. Ages 4-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this delightful companion to the classic, Chato's Kitchen, Soto reintroduces young readers to Chato, the coolest cat in the barrio. Chato loves birthday parties, unlike his friend Novio Boy who claims birthday parties remind him that he is an orphan. Determined to make Novio Boy feel wanted, Chato organizes a spectacular birthday party for his friend and involves his entire neighborhood. Unfortunately, he forgets to invite Novio Boy, leading to an unexpected, yet delightful climax. Accompanied by vibrant paintings, this story is not only an instant classic but is also a critical addition to children's literature that focuses on Latino communities. 2000, Putnam Pub Group, $15.99. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: Rebecca Joseph
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this sequel to Chato's Kitchen Putnam, 1995, the ebullient, jazzy, party-loving homecat decides to throw a surprise birthday bash for his best friend, Novio Boy, who was raised in the pound and has never had a party. Buying the provisions, inviting his friends, decorating, arranging for music-Chato thinks he has seen to everything. The guests begin to arrive and one dog raises a crucial question: "Where's the birthday cat?" Aghast, Chato realizes that he neglected to invite Novio Boy and organizes a search, which proves fruitless. The party turns wake as, certain that Novio Boy has met an untimely end, all the animals remember his good qualities and grieve. In the midst of this, who should turn up but the guest of honor with some new friends in tow. With double reason to celebrate, the party is a wild success. Rollicking language-a completely integrated and poetic combination of barrio slang, Spanish, and colloquial English-carries the story along. Guevara's lively acrylic-on-scratchboard illustrations have a verve and style that will make readers long to join the fun. A glossary of Spanish words preceding the text neatly removes any mystery, rendering this joyous celebration of friendship not only understandable but irresistible.-Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Chato, Novio Boy, Chorizo, and the mouse family next door in the animal barrio of Chato's Kitchen (1995) are back. This time, Chato throws a surprise birthday party to help cheer up Novio Boy, who tearfully confesses that he grew up in a pound and has never been given a party. Chato's oversight is that he forgets to invite his carnal (brother). But all ends well, and the pachanga (festive party) lasted until the sun went down, the moon came up, and the neighbors started throwing shoes at them to stop the racket." Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text are defined in a glossary that precedes the story. Guevara's rich acrylic-on-scratchboard paintings steal the show, bringing to life the vibrant neighborhood, two rollicking parties, the mercado (market) where Chato shops, and the personalities of the main characters. While Novio Boy has never known his mother, a cat in a red dress, with breasts, a golden halo, and white wings appears as his guardian angel throughout. And when Novio Boy acknowledges the revelers as mi familia (my family), he is holding a Mexican tree of life that pictures all his friends. Guevara's art spreads across and bleeds off the double pages with humor, action, and a pleasing variety of perspectives. Here is a party that all will enjoy. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399231599
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,514,922
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.87 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Chato’s Kitchen and Chato and the Party Animals. About Chato’s Kitchen, School Library Journal said, “Guevara’s striking illustrations enrich the text with delightful, witty details.” She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Children's Book

    This story is about Chato and his best-friend Novio Boy, they are at Chorizo's birthday party when Novio Boy announces that he his never had a birthday party. Novio Boy doesn't even know when he was born since he was in a pound, so Chato decides he is going to through him a birthday party. Chato orders a cake, gets decorations, gets party games/favors, and invites all of their friends. * Spoiler Alert * When the day of the party happens Novio Boy is missing.

    In the beginning of the book there is a list of the Spanish words used throughout the book with the English translations.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    Awesome capture of the Barrio

    Chato is the coolest cat in the barrio. He's social and loves to party and have a good time. But his best friend, Novio Boy is the total opposite. He was born in a pound and never knew his mother or father. The two friends are at a birthday party when Novio boy comes to the realization that he's never had a birthday party of his own because he didn't have a normal childhood. So what's Chato, the best friend to do? This book is all about how a good friend and community come together to help one of their own. It's a great story that reflects the flambouyant atmosphere of el barrio. Author Gary Soto adeptly captures the flavor and life in el barrio and its inhabitants. This story was a great read and would definitely be useful in a classroom to show diversity and friendship.

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  • Posted November 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Chato and the Party Animals- Review

    Chato is a Latino-American cat in East Los Angeles. Ever since he was a little kitten, he loved partying with his friends from the neighborhood. However, his friend, Novio Boy, is feeling down at a birthday party. Birthdays, especially his own, depress Novio Boy because he was adopted. He never knew his real mother or exact birth date. After he leaves this party, Chato wants to cheer up his friend. So he goes through the process of planning an extravagant birthday party for Novio Boy. However, when the party is about to roll, Chato along with all the other guests realize one thing is missing- Novio Boy! After a long search, all the dogs, cats, and mice at the party begin to worry about Novio Boy. Suddenly, he shows up, and they partied until the moon came up.

    Because this book does not have a complicated plot, Chato and the Party Animals is very suitable for the audience- K-2nd grade. This book is also a great example of Animal Fantasy. The characters are animals that have the same actions as humans. In this book, not only do the animals walk and talk like humans, but they play games, shop, and partake in other human-related activities. I think this aspect of the book makes it more fun and humorous for children.

    I also loved the diversity in Chato and the Party Animals. It exemplifies Latino America through beautiful illustrations showing the setting and characters. I also felt the few Spanish words incorporated added to the diversity in this book in a fun and educational manner. If the reader gets stuck on a Spanish word while reading, they can always flip to the glossary conveniently located in the front.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2007

    Dallas Kinsey

    Chato and the Party Animals By Gary Soto Illustrated by Susan Guevara Putman, 2000. In Gary Soto¿s picture book, Chato plans a surprise birthday party for Novio Boy, who has never had one. This is a party everybody will love. There¿s only one small problem nobody knows where Novio Boy is, so because they can¿t start the party without the birthday boy, the birthday party turns into a search party. Illustrations for this ghetto tale are wildly creative and are like vibrantly colorful graffiti. Together they set the perfect stage for the story. For example, in one illustration, we see Soto¿s story come to life, is out of this world! As an adult I couldn¿t help but laugh out loud, couldn¿t wait to share with my friends and family!!! Everyone has a party side and this brings it out! Because of its universal themes of friendship and kindness readers will relate to this very hip story. Don¿t forget to read the other books about Chato and his friends, Chato¿s Kitchen and Chato Goes Cruisin¿ they¿re exciting too. Gary Soto and Susan Guevara¿s three-book series with Chato, the coolest cat in the East L.A., are cool in the way they relate to our culturally diverse society. Great job, guys¿Do it again please!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000


    I read this last night to my kids. What a great book. The sprinkling of spanish words into the text make it a fun read. The artwork was fabulous as well, with lots of hidden items for the parents to find. I think I was as tickled as my kids.

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