K-Gr 2-Amelia, an enthusiastic new student in her American school, is more than ready for her first show-and-tell. She dons her beautiful fiesta dress with the three fancy skirts that reminds her of her Cuban homeland. However, when she sees the show-and-tell basket on the teacher's desk full of small items that the other students have brought, she feels as though she's made a horrible mistake. How an understanding teacher and interested classmates help Amelia to tell about her dress makes for a satisfying if slightly predictable story. The Spanish translation errs a bit on the side of the literal, but is generally correct, if uninspired. The English text has a lilt and cadence enhanced by the use of Spanish phrases embedded in it. The bright acrylic illustrations are vibrant and appealing, displaying busy scenes full of things to pore over. Use this with Anne Rockwell's Show & Tell Day (HarperCollins, 1997) for a look at an American primary-grade tradition. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Amelia, a young Cuban immigrant to the US, is so excited to think of the possibilities of her first "show-and-tell" experience that she doesn't quite get the directions down; instead of bringing something small to put in the basket and pass around the room, she wears her fiesta dress. Utterly embarrassed when she realizes her mistake, she's at first too frightened to speak, but the swishing of her skirts against one another reminds her of the tropical breezes of home and loosens her tongue. While Amelia's timidity is directly related to her "foreignness," being different is an experience that all children face, and all will sympathize with her discomfort. Aviles's rich hues suggest the tropical warmth of Cuba, and the exaggerated roundness of her faces conveys the openness of Mrs. Jenner's multicultural classroom. Sweet-tempered and inviting, Chapra's debut zeroes in on a common emotion, while also introducing Amelia's Cuban culture, inserting Spanish words into the English text, and referring in passing to children named Parvati, Moyo, and Akio. (Picture book. 5-8)