Oh No, Gotta Go!

Oh No, Gotta Go!

by Susan Middleton Elya, G. Brian Karas

It happens all the time. As soon as the car pulls away, someone needs the bathroom.

"Where is un ba—o? D"nde está? I really do need one," I told mi mamá.

After racing around town, passing a gushing fountain, and cutting the inevitable line for the ladies' room, this adorable little girl makes it to the bathroom in the nick of

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It happens all the time. As soon as the car pulls away, someone needs the bathroom.

"Where is un ba—o? D"nde está? I really do need one," I told mi mamá.

After racing around town, passing a gushing fountain, and cutting the inevitable line for the ladies' room, this adorable little girl makes it to the bathroom in the nick of time. And because the bathroom is in a restaurant, the family stays for a wonderful meal-and lots of limonada. . . .

Buoyant illustrations and a clever mix of Spanish and English combine to capture the urgency and humor of the situation to the delight of kids and grown-ups alike.

Illustrated by G. Brian Karas.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brilliantly conceived...Readers will find these multi-textured illustrations fascinating and as imaginative as the concept." -Kirkus Reviews

"Each of Elya's couplets seamlessly introduces or reinforce two Spanish words, while the cunning rhyme scheme helps readers with their pronunciation...An appealingly painless introduction to another language." -Booklist

Publishers Weekly
Readers need not be bilingual to enjoy this tale about the potty predicaments of traveling youngsters. While on a Sunday drive with her parents, the narrator-a girl in her white-dress finest with bow atop curly brown hair-innocently proclaims from the backseat her urgent need for a bathroom. Elya (Eight Animals Play Ball) packs the pages with more than 50 Spanish words and phrases (which appear in bold throughout) and uses a repetitive format (and glossary at the end) to clarify any meanings that cannot be inferred from the context. "On Sunday, domingo, the sign says cerrado./ The baker is tired. He feels muy cansado," the girl's father says as they search for a restroom on quiet streets lined by colorful Latin-esque buildings with tile roofs and brick-edged windows. Using the two languages does not detract from the basic humor of a situation familiar to many a parent, but neither does it always enhance. A few rhymes seem forced to fit the vocabulary. Perky, mixed-media art matches the brisk pace of the text. Karas's (Incredible Me!) characters with their large, round heads on pencil-thin necks appear alongside scribbles of purple crayon and wide brushstrokes, and he varies the perspectives from inside and outside of the car. The text often snakes around spot illustrations set against warm-hued backgrounds, appears in speech bubbles and is sometimes backed by collage accents of floral wallpaper. A sure reminder to visit the ba o before leaving home. Ages 4-8. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
As this rhyming picture book begins, a little girl is describing a car trip with her parents. A potentially carefree experience soon becomes stressful when she announces, "Where is un baño? Dónde esta? I really do need one." Most of the book depicts her parents' desperate search for the much-needed bathroom. It's told from the girl's point of view in bouncing rhyme peppered with Spanish words and phrases. While the story is suspenseful and deals with a common problem, the tone is humorous and warm. The Spanish words and phrases, which appear in darker print, are skillfully woven into the English text. While non-Spanish speakers will probably be able to guess the meaning of most of the Spanish because of the context and repetition, there is also a glossary and pronunciation guide at the end of the book. The lively, child-like illustrations, done in gouache, acrylic, pencil and collage, reinforce the humor and aid in understanding the Spanish. This book would be especially useful in bilingual story times and classrooms. The mixture of Spanish and English text might encourage Spanish speakers who are learning English, as well as English speakers learning Spanish. 2003, GP Putnam's Sons, Ages 3 to 8.
—Gisela Jernigan, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This sweet story follows a little girl and her parents as they drive around town on a Sunday looking for a bathroom. Elya uses the trip to introduce readers to a bit of Spanish vocabulary: "Pap checked the bakery-la panader'a,/ but it wasn't open because of the d'a." The book concludes with a glossary and pronunciation guide. Karas's trademark illustrations reflect the light mood of the text and will help children figure out the unfamiliar words. The bright colors and mix of pictures from small insets to full spreads provide visual interest and pacing for the story. This is a clever way to introduce a language to young children, but it suffers from being a tad too long. Children might not be able to hold on until the end.-Tali Balas, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this rollicking gallop of a tale, the rhyming couplets provide the forward impetus and the ordinary, but tense situation supplies the humor. While on a Sunday drive with her parents, a little girl announces that she has "gotta go." Unfortunately all of the nearby shops are closed, but they manage to get directions to a restaurant from a construction worker. Once there, of course, they find a long line of girls and women waiting for the bathroom. Although writing primarily in English, Elya employs several dozen Spanish words and phrases, sometimes even in rhyme with English words. Her contexts explain all of the Spanish usages, but even so she includes a glossary. Perfect for bilingual classes stretching their English wings, this is also an accurate reflection of the way in which bilingual speakers move back and forth between languages, as well as a charming way to introduce Spanish to English speakers. Karas's characteristically funny illustrations are bright and blocky, both detailed and childishly simple. The text highlights all Spanish words in bold. Appropriate for all children's collections: a real winner. (Picture book/poetry. 3-8)

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
8.38(w) x 10.38(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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