Publishers WeeklyThe 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 LiteratureThe 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 JournalK-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
Kirkus ReviewsPaul 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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Manana, Iguana based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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.
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!