Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyHaving made a bilingual foray to the market in Eight Animals on the Town, Raton (Mouse), Gato (Cat) and friends now tackle the culinary arts and add 33 Spanish vocabulary words in Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya, illus. by Lee Chapman. Each animal brings one ingredient to the cake-baking session (recipe appears at the end): "Dog brings the egg, one huevo to beat. `Hurry up,' Perro says. `I want to eat.' " Chapman's paintings glow with south-of-the-border colors and a Mexican folk-art spirit; whimsically patterned frames contain translation equations ("Dog = Perro," "Egg = Huevo" and so on). (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3-Following the same format as in Eight Animals on the Town (Putnam, 2000), with Spanish words carefully integrated into the text, endearing animals each bring an ingredient for the cake they hope to bake. "Dog brings the egg, one huevo to beat. `Hurry up,' Perro says. `I want to eat.'" Each neatly rhymed couplet is accompanied by a framed and bordered illustration that extends the humor of the text. Perro prances merrily down the path, balancing his huevo jauntily on his nose, to the amazement of some watching chickens. The English translations of the Spanish words appear in the borders so there is no interruption or confusion in the story line. The paintings are a richly colored combination of cartoon and Mexican folk art that perfectly captures the animals' eager anticipation. Most libraries will agree with these delightful characters when they say, "M s, por favor."-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsThe clever format of this delightful story will have even the youngest children speaking and understanding Spanish. The ocho animales featured in Elya's previous Eight Animals on the Town (2000) come together to bake a cake, each bringing one ingredient. The friends stir the batter, place it in the oven, and listen to Bird sing as they try to be patient. The table is all set and ready, but when the cake lands on the floor, all seems lost. As the animals lament their ruined dessert, Cow sends Bird flying off with some cash. When she returns, she carries a large prickly fruit, pi-a, which Cow uses to save the day. Families can enjoy the same dessert-the recipe follows the story. Each of Elya's couplets seamlessly introduce or reinforce two Spanish words, while the cunning rhyme scheme helps readers with their pronunciation. From the names of the eight animals and the ingredients they contribute, to the common household objects they come across, there is no doubt as to the meaning of the new vocabulary. As the tale progresses, the animals are referred to only by their Spanish names, while clues in the couplets and illustrations help readers remember their meanings. While the story is amusing and educational, it is the novelty of hearing and learning a new language, combined with the marvelously colorful illustrations that will capture and hold children's attention. A Mexican influence is apparent in Chapman's (Doggie Dreams, 2000) detailed illustrations-from the bright colors of the equator and the palms and cacti, to the bright geometric border, the folk art-inspired drawings are sure to please. A glossary and a pronunciation guide is included, although the articles associated with Spanishnouns are absent. An appealingly painless introduction to another language. (Picture book. 4-8)
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