Once Around the Block / Una Vuelta a la Manzana

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Overview

There’s always a lot of action in the Mexican American neighborhood where Mr. Lozano lives. Amelia argues with Anita; Benito loves bean burritos but not bumblebees; Hortencia and Herminia hover around like hummingbirds; and Zacarias is catching some Zs on Zachary Street. José Lozano’s wacky little stories and illustrations combine Mexican culture with Sesame Street smarts to make for a wonderful read-aloud ABC book in Spanish and English.

José Lozano, who lives in Anaheim, California, makes his living as an elementary school teacher, but his passion is art. He is a rising star in the thriving Latino art scene in Los Angeles.

"With this amusing trip through the streets of a Mexican-American neighborhood, readers will discover the lives, adventures, secrets, hobbies and special skills of a most varied gallery of personages.

"With the skills of a master storyteller, Lozano creates in each page, in alphabetical order, a lively, one-paragraph portrait using words that start with the same initial letter of his characters' names: "B is for Benito who loves baseball, bumblebees, and big bean burritos"; "I is for Isabel who likes to stay indoors, cruise the Internet and write interesting stories"; "P is for Pablo who has won many prizes for playing the piano perfectly." (Los Otros, hermanos Toñio, Lluvia and Chuy, new to the neighborhood, haven't yet learned English.)

"The author's detailed and vibrant gouache paintings are framed as pictures in an album, reflecting the festive spirit of a real Hispanic community. Crosthwaite's excellent Spanish rendition maintains the savor and rhyme of the original text and its clever wordplay, making the story enjoyable in both languages. Drawings of alphabet cubes serve as dividers between the texts."—Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The author's detailed and vibrant gouache paintings are framed as pictures in an album, reflecting the festive spirit of a real Hispanic community. Crosthwaite's excellent Spanish rendition maintains the savor and rhyme of the original text and its clever wordplay, making the story enjoyable in both languages." —Kirkus Reviews

"Humorous, double-page text and vivid colors make this an ideal ABC book. The narration in English and Spanish carry the same tone and story line. Lozano’s illustrations exude a Mexican feel and depict a vibrant and modern Hispanic community. Great for reading aloud, this book is a solid choice for building basic vocabulary skills." —School Library Journal

"Once Around the Block is a delightful bilingual ABC book with warm, vivid illustrations of happy faces and places. Its charm is only exceeded by its originality." —Midwest Book Review

"This splashy little gem is the work of one of the rising stars in the thriving Latino art scene in Los Angeles." —Tucson Citizen

Children's Literature - Rosa Roberts
From A to Z this alphabet story will resonate with bilingual readers of English and Spanish. It begins on a journey throughout a Mexican American neighborhood with the beginning letter of the alphabet on each page matching children's names, objects, and actions. From H for Hortencia with the heavenly hair to P for Pablo who plays the piano perfectly in the neighborhood, readers will feel like they know the characters presented in the English and Spanish text. The top and bottom bilingual text makes it effortless for readers of either language. The watercolor illustrations are exquisite and add to the Latino authenticity of the storyline on each page. The premise of reviewing and reinforcing the alphabet in both languages with names and at times the alliteration of items makes it fun for beginning bilingual readers. This picture book makes a great read aloud or addition to a bilingual library collection or elementary classroom. Reviewer: Rosa Roberts
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2–A Mexican-American neighborhood, its residents, and daily routines are brought to life in this alphabetical story that begins with Amelia and her sister Anita and ends with Zacarías and his crazy dog Zapper the Yapper. Humorous, double-page text and vivid colors make this an ideal ABC book. The narration in English and Spanish carry the same tone and story line. Lozano’s illustrations exude a Mexican feel and depict a vibrant and modern Hispanic community. Great for reading aloud, this book is a solid choice for building basic vocabulary skills.–Eric Gómez, Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kirkus Reviews
With this amusing trip through the streets of a Mexican-American neighborhood, readers will discover the lives, adventures, secrets, hobbies and special skills of a most varied gallery of personages. With the skills of a master storyteller, Lozano creates in each page, in alphabetical order, a lively, one-paragraph portrait using words that start with the same initial letter of his characters' names: "B is for Benito who loves baseball, bumblebees, and big bean burritos"; "I is for Isabel who likes to stay indoors, cruise the Internet and write interesting stories"; "P is for Pablo who has won many prizes for playing the piano perfectly." (Los Otros, hermanos To-io, Lluvia and Chuy, new to the neighborhood, haven't yet learned English.) The author's detailed and vibrant gouache paintings are framed as pictures in an album, reflecting the festive spirit of a real Hispanic community. Crosthwaite's excellent Spanish rendition maintains the savor and rhyme of the original text and its clever wordplay, making the story enjoyable in both languages. Drawings of alphabet cubes serve as dividers between the texts. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933693576
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Edition description: Bilingual Edition: English & Spanish
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 937,641
  • Age range: 3 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


José Lozano was born in Los Angeles but moved as an infant to Juárez, México. There, he found many of the cultural touchstones that continue to influence his work today--bad Mexican cinema, fotonovelas, ghost stories, and comic books. Lozano prefers to work in a series, focusing on themes like Mexican wrestlers, paper dolls, and loteria.
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