After the visitors have left the zoo and the animals have settled down for the night, a mischievous monkey starts a ting-tong rhythm on the marimba and slowly the animals awaken. Lions and llamas samba and cougars and coyotes conga as all the animals join in the fun to create a rollicking fiesta. Infused with Mexican American flavor, ?MARIMBA! is a unique alphabet book that also introduces the concept of cognates--words in different languages that are similar. Young Spanish speakers will be delighted to find ...
After the visitors have left the zoo and the animals have settled down for the night, a mischievous monkey starts a ting-tong rhythm on the marimba and slowly the animals awaken. Lions and llamas samba and cougars and coyotes conga as all the animals join in the fun to create a rollicking fiesta. Infused with Mexican American flavor, ?MARIMBA! is a unique alphabet book that also introduces the concept of cognates--words in different languages that are similar. Young Spanish speakers will be delighted to find they are already familiar with twenty-six words in English, and English speakers with find they already know some Spanish. Author's note, pronunciation guide, rebus dictionary.
In this rollicking, bilingual alphabet book, all the animales in the zoo, from burros to zebues, stage an all-night wild and wonderful party, singing and dancing (conga, tango, hula, cha-cha, and samba) to "marimba's ting-tong beat." Best of all, when the warning comes that the keepers are waking up to spoil the fun, the keepers themselves join in the infectious celebration. In an author's note at the end of the book, Mora describes her intention for the book as presenting twenty-six cognates, "so that Spanish speakers would discover that they are already familiar with twenty-six words in English," and vice versa. On a first reading, before encountering the author's note, it's unclear why certain words are selected for italics: why burros, but not bears? Why coyotes, but not cougars? Moreover, it is doubtful that many readers would come to the book already familiar with "nutrias," "ocelots," "quetzals," "wapitis," and "zebus." That quibble aside, the more animals, or animales, the merrier, and Cushman's lively art depicts them all with zest and zeal.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-This infectiously cheerful alphabet book includes both Spanish and English animal names (the author deliberately chose examples that are easily recognizable in both languages). Rhyming verses introduce pairs of letters: "A chorus of lions and llamas/samba down the street./Mariachi manaties mambo/to marimba's ting-tong beat" and "Raccoons and rinocerontes/rumba with rattlesnakes./Sloths and salamandras/salsa around the lakes." A monkey playing a marimba soothingly "croons" the zookeepers to sleep and then pops up affably in most of the watercolor illustrations to entertain the various creatures that burst with energy and humor. The starlit sky that appears in most of the illustrations reminds readers that despite the brightness of the foreground, these frolicking animals are celebrating at night. Miniature visual representations of each Spanish word accompany a helpful pronunciation and translation guide. This freshly presented concept book will please children and may tempt librarians to share it at storytime.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Animals frolic through the whole alphabet in Spanish as well as English. While two zoo keepers snooze in front of the ticket window, all the animals inside kick up their hooves. Twenty-six short verses introduce them, from A (animales) to Z (zebues). Most of the animal names are close enough to their English counterparts to be guessed by young listeners: elefantes, gorilas, manaties, for example. In the back is a brief "translation and pronunciation guide." The verses are simple, and built around the activities the animals are undertaking in the pictures: " 'Let's conga,' say cougars to coyotes, to marimbas ting-tong beat!' " Cushman's happy illustrations, in pen-and-ink and watercolor with gouache and colored pencil, resemble stills from an old Saturday morning cartoon. An inviting introduction to both Spanish and the animal kingdom. (Picture book. 4-7)
Pat Mora, a poet of Mexican-American heritage, is the recipient of a 1994 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in poetry. Her published work includes poetry and nonfiction for adults as well as children. She is the author of several bilingual picture books, including two on the Clarion list. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information visit patmora.com.
Doug Cushman is a veteran mystery writer for children and the illustrator of more than 100 picture books. Among his many popular books are the seven Holiday Mice books, written by Bethany Roberts. He lives in Northern California and Paris.