Part of the "Somos Latinos" bilingual Spanish/English series, this title shows Amelia Moyer Perez engaging with a variety of friends in a variety of activities. Amelia, who seems to be around nine years old, lives with her older brother, her Dominican-American mother, and is visited by her European-American father. The book's many appealing photos enhance and expand its brief bilingual text. Each page of text begins with a Spanish paragraph, followed by an English translation and small photos and reproductions of children's drawings. A large related photo takes up all of the opposing page. Photos and text show Amelia, her family and many friends of both sexes and a variety of ethnicities and ages, interacting in many different activities: drawing, fixing breakfast at school, building sandcastles, playing basketball, climbing trees, dressing up like fairies and reading in bed. A page near the end of the book presents the family history of Amelia's mother, followed by a map showing her journey from the Dominican Republic to California. The first person narrative, told from Amelia's and then her mother's perspective, adds to the book's sense of reality and vitality. In spite of the book's brevity, the skillful interweaving of this conversational text with stunning photos helps the reader to get to know and appreciate Amelia, her family and friends, and their activities. This book does a wonderful job of celebrating both the diversity and unity of the Latino experience. A glossary and background information on traditional Latino games are included. Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy contributed to the book. 2004, Children's Press/Scholastic, Ages 5 to 10.
Gisela Jernigan, Ph.D.