Young readers will have fun learning new Spanish words with this delightful picture book about a Mexican cowboy (vaquero) named Jose and his loyal horse (caballo) named Feo. In this humorous tale, Jose enjoys spending time riding the range with his trusty equine pal. Then one day he meets a pretty senorita named Rosita, who has expensive tastes and likes her cowboys with mucho dinero. Interested in winning her over and grabbing a pile of loot at the same time, Jose, with a little encouragement from Feo, decides to enter the local cowboy rodeo. After practicing his rodeo skills, he nervously heads over to the corral, where he watches in dismay as his competition is thrown one-by-one onto the dusty ground by a very wild, bucking bronco named Loco. When it is his turn to ride, he takes a big gulp, hops on the bronco and hopes for the best. Much to his surprise and everyone else's, he lasts the longest on Loco's back and wins first place at the rodeo. When the money-hungry Rosita approaches him and expresses an interest in spending his winnings, he realizes that she is too selfish and rude for his own liking, so he turns to his loyal companion, Feo, and takes him out for a delicious meal at the local rib house. In the end, it is not the girl he rides off into the sunset withit is his best, four-legged pal. The bright, comical artwork is perfectly complemented by hilarious rhyming text, which contains more than thirty Spanish words (appearing in bold). When readers want to further explore the Spanish words introduced in the story, they can turn to the front of the book where the author provides a helpful glossary complete with pronunciations and definitions. Children and adults alikewill laugh out loud as they read the catchy verse and see the funny illustrations presented in this winning picture book. 2005, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Ages 5 to 8.
K-Gr 3-When Jose sees Rosita, he can hardly wait to ask her for una cita, but the bonita girl requires her vaquero to have mucho dinero. So, with the help of his horse, Feo, Jose enters the rodeo hoping to win the necessary funds. After a successful ride on a dangerous bronco, he is rico enough for Rosita; however, in a surprising twist, he chooses friendship over beauty and spends his money on dinner for Feo. Afterward, the two ride off into the sunset together. This story has something for everyone: friendship, greed, danger, and a happy ending. Elya's engaging text features snappy rhymes and plenty of contextual clues for the Spanish words that appear in bold type. The rhyming scheme helps non-Spanish speakers with pronunciation, and a glossary at the beginning of the book provides phonetic guides and definitions. Raglin's watercolor-and-colored-pencil artwork features bright south-of-the-border colors and characters in traditional dress to accentuate the story's Mexican setting. The illustrations, especially the facial expressions, add depth and humor to the story. This rollicking tale is ideal for storytime sharing.-Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Rollicking rhymed "Spanglish" couplets tell the tale of "Cowboy Jose, the vaquero" and his faithful horse Feo who "ride 'cross the prairie and belt out a song," and then get involved with a gal named Rosita, who is pretty-bonita. The story is minimal and predictable. Rosita is a gold digger who loves the vaquero not for himself, but for his dinero. Perhaps to reinforce the tall-tale nature of the story, the lively and humorous cartoon illustrations depict Mexican stereotypes that some may find troubling. The inclusion of Spanish words can be viewed as humorous or educational. Sometimes the verses strain as hard as the characters. "Jose grips the horse at his middle-su tronco. / His legs squeeze the sides of the wild bucking bronco." A glossary of Spanish words with pronunciations precedes the story, although many non-Spanish speakers will be able to guess the meanings from the context and repetition in English. Recommended mainly for its language possibilities. (Picture book. 5-9)