Manana, Iguana

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The little red hen goes south of the border-and takes on the guise of an iguana-for this bilingual twist on an old favorite. "On Monday, lunes," Iguana decides to have a fiesta on s bado to celebrate spring. But each day when she asks her friends Conejo (rabbit) and Tortuga (turtle) to help with the preparations-writing the invitations, stuffing the pi ata, etc., they respond, "Yo no. Not I." Culebra (snake) is no better-his pat answer is to flash a friendly smile and promise "If I grow arms tonight, I'll help you ma ana, Iguana." When party day arrives, it's not too hard to guess who isn't on the guest list. But unlike the original tale, Paul (Eight Hands Round) and Long (The Day My Runny Nose Ran Away) don't end the story there. The three lazy friends have a pang of conscience, and while the pooped reptile hostess sleeps, they clean up the party mess. When grateful Iguana offers them leftovers, the response is " Yo si!" Paul's inclusion of Spanish words into the largely English text can be clunky, coming off as a thinly veiled lesson ("Conejo hopped up and down.... Tortuga poked out of his shell"). But the running joke of Culebra's empty promise is a hoot, and Long's cartoons comically play up the three friend's empty-headed idleness (at one point, they're found turning a cactus into a desert equivalent of a snowman), and Iguana's slow boil. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The title is catchy and the illustrations colorful in this amusing version of The Little Red Hen with a Mexican flavor. Spanish words and phrases are sprinkled throughout in such a way as to promote understanding by context, although there is a glossary in the front of the book. Iguana decides on Monday to plan a party for Saturday to celebrate the arrival of spring. Iguana asks for help with the invitations. She gets the same answer from each one of her three friends and the answer is "Yo no. Not I." This is the answer she gets when asking for help with all the preparations for the big day. Conejo claims that he moves too fast, Tortuga insists that he moves too slow and Culebra offers to help after he grows arms. So, Iguana does everything herself, but when it is time for the party, her three friends want to join in. When she tells them they cannot attend because they never helped, they slink away in embarrassment. They make it up to Iguana after the party when they do all the cleaning up and then she shares the leftovers with them. A nice turn on an old story. 2004, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8.
—Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—In Ann Whitford Paul's Southwestern version of "The Little Red Hen" (Holiday House, 2004), Iguana is planning a fiesta. But when she asks for help from her friends, Rabbit says he's too fast, Tortoise says he's too slow, and Snake says he'll help…mañana, when he grows some arms. So Iguana ends up sending and delivering the invitations, decorating, cooking, and running the fiesta. Her three pals are surprised they are not among the invited guests. When it's all over, they see how tired Iguana is and offer to clean up. Iguana is so happy with their help that they all share the leftovers the next day. Ethan Long's vibrant watercolor and gouache illustrations add to the fun. Brian and Rosi Armador read the story with authentic Spanish accents and create unique voices for all the characters. They also read the glossary on the verso of the title page to acquaint listeners with the vocabulary. Lively original music plays in the background. Sprinkled liberally with Spanish words, this is a nice addition to bilingual story times or reading centers.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-The little red hen finds a south-of-the-border counterpart in this version seasoned with Spanish words. Iguana's idea to throw a fiesta meets with approval from her friends Conejo (rabbit), Tortuga (turtle), and Culebra (snake). However, as she prepares the invitations, stuffs the pi-ata, cooks the food, and hangs the streamers, Iguana asks for their assistance and is repeatedly given the same excuses. Conejo insists he's too fast to complete a task properly; Tortuga explains that he is too slow; and Culebra (although he is always willing) sadly can only help "Ma-ana, Iguana, when I grow my arms." Iguana takes charge and insists upon greeting and entertaining her guests alone. The others finally realize their neglect and find a solution that repairs their friendship. Vibrant cartoon illustrations in watercolors and gouache propel the text, clearly revealing Iguana's joys, anger, and frustration. Although numerous variations of this tale have appeared in recent years, this rendition with its predictably repetitive but creative answers has a lot of appeal. A glossary of Spanish terms and their pronunciations is included. A first choice for all libraries.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Paul offers a clever dual-language update of The Little Red Hen. Iguana is planning a fiesta on Saturday; her friends are excited about attending, but not about helping with the preparations. Each has an excuse: Conejo the rabbit does things too fast and would ruin them, while Tortuga the tortoise is too slow; Culebra the snake is willing to help ma-ana-when he grows arms. All work and no play makes for a grouchy Iguana, who disinvites her friends. As the lazy trio watches the party from the sidelines, they recognize that they should have helped, so as Iguana sleeps that night, they pitch in and clean up, and all is forgiven in the morning. Long's illustrations incorporate the bright colors and geometric designs of Mexico. Careful observers will see through the animals' excuses as they play in the background while Iguana works. An excellent chance for young readers to practice using context clues and to learn some Spanish vocabulary. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823418084
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,058,422
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.33 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Enjoyed by students from 4-8 - Fun story

    Great story (updated version of the folk story "the little red hen") -very fun characters and includes english & spanish vocabulary. Good writing opportunities for comparing the 2 stories or re-writing the ending. Provides discussion opportunities for character ed in early grades as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2008

    Great intro. for learning the days of the week in Spanish

    I loved this book for my five year old. It is a great story that helps children learn about helping friends and at the same time teaches children spanish words. This book is great for teaching children the days of the week in spanish. Ann Whitford Paul's books make learning a second language fun for children. My husbands favorite book to read to our son is Fiesta Fiasco and now we will be adding this one to our favorite list. We can't wait to read Count on Culebra!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2004

    A fun read

    Iguana decides to celebrate Spring with a Fiesta. Rabbit, tortoise, and snake believe it is a great idea to have a party too, until it is time to do the work. The lazy trio learn a lesson in this Mexican version of The Little Red Hen. Long's illustrations are bright, colorful and feature pop-eyed, expressive characters. A glossary of Spanish words, including the days of the week appear at the beginning of the book making this a great choice for those first grade students studying our neighbors to the South. Myriad classroom activities might include planning a fiesta, writing invitations in Spanish, making a pinata and colorful decorations. The story will also generate lots of audience participation during storytime. Expect noise level to increase as the youngsters anticipate what will be said next. It is great for prediction skills. Those children familiar with a more traditional version of The Little Red Hen, such as: Byron Barton's or Paul Galdone's will enjoy comparing and contrasting them with Manana,Iguana. For fun add in Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza and there should be endless possiblities for Vend Diagrams. This a good selection for elementary school libraries and classrooms, as well as, public libraries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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