The Best Mariachi in the World / El mejor mariachi del mundo

The Best Mariachi in the World / El mejor mariachi del mundo

by J. D. Smith, Dani Jones
     
 

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The Best Mariachi in the World / El mejor mariachi del mundo is bilingual (English/Spanish) embedded text picture book that incorporates cultural tradition, wishes, and the happiness that can be found when a person's talent is valued. Spunk and determination set in lovely desert surroundings. The story is told primarily in English with Spanish sprinkled in context… See more details below

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Overview

The Best Mariachi in the World / El mejor mariachi del mundo is bilingual (English/Spanish) embedded text picture book that incorporates cultural tradition, wishes, and the happiness that can be found when a person's talent is valued. Spunk and determination set in lovely desert surroundings. The story is told primarily in English with Spanish sprinkled in context throughout. A keyword vocabulary page is included in the back of the book.

Everyone in Gustavo's family is in a mariachi band. Everyone except Gustavo, that is. They all play violíns, trompetas and guitarrones. They all make wonderful music in restaurants and at wedding parties. Gustavo would love to join the band, but he can't play any of the instruments. What's a wannabe mariachi to do?

Illustrator Dani Jones uses bright, warm colors to show the hot desert landscape. She also incorporates the styles of art and patterns from the Southwestern area (the setting of The Best Mariachi in the World / El mejor mariachi del mundo) to help illustrate the story. Her bold, graphic style combined with comic interpretation portrays Gustavo's full range of emotions as he pursues his mariachi dream.

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Editorial Reviews

Multicultural Review
As Smith demonstrates in his charming book, no fiesta is complete without mariachis, a band that includes a singer back by musicians who play Spanish guitar, a guitarron (a small bass guitar with a rounded back) a vihuela ( a high-pitches guitar with five strings), violins, and at least two trumpets. Sadly, young Gustavo belongs to a family of mariachis and he cannot seem to find his place. When he tries to play his brothers violin, he's met with: "Don't touch the bow of my violin, You might break it." After much contemplation, Gustavo starts to sing. The townspeople awaken to his magnificent voice and discover he would make a wonderful mariachi singer. This story of youthful triumph is perfectly matched with bold and vibrant illustrations. Not only do children learn about mariachis, but they're also encouraged to search for their own special talent.
Washington Parent
Gustavo wants to be in the family mariachi band, but he can't play the violin, trumpet or guitar. He feels left out and unskilled. Many young readers will relate to Gustavo's feelings and to his yearning for a unique talent. The vivid illustrations show the boy, accompanied buy his canine buddy, visiting the desert near his home in the early mornings. Gustavo finds the cacti and the sky's black bowl of stars so beautiful that he just has to sing - and in so doing, recognizes what he can best contribute to the band. Written in English, with concept words in Spanish, this charming story introduces young English speakers to another language and culture, while the simple vocabulary and short sentences will help young Spanish speakers develop a better understanding of English.
The Reading Tub
What a sweet story. Gustavo is a wonderful character that kids can relate to, and the illustrator did a beautiful job capturing his feelings. As novice Spanish speakers, books that embed the language and use repetition to demonstrate context and vocabulary are easier for us to read. The illustrations are a wonderful complement to the story and while colorful, do not overwhelm the reader.
bookscentral.com
The story itself is simplistic. Young readers will have no trouble navigating the words alone. The illustrations are simply gorgeous, with a blend of warm and cool colors splashing across each page. Each image tells such a strong story, the words often feel unnecessary. I look forward to more books from Raven Tree Press.
Latin Baby Book Club
I can't tell you, Amigas, how MUCH we thoroughly enjoy this book. If you have children, we highly recommend it. If you have little boys, it is a "must read." My son is two, and I think we have read this book almost every night for the last month. As soon as we lay down on the bed, his little hand reaches for it. Even my daughter favors this story over others.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979446245
Publisher:
Raven Tree Press, LLC
Publication date:
09/28/2008
Edition description:
Bilingual Edition: Spanish-English
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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