PreS-Gr 3-Sophie is a homely toad, while her brother is so cute that he has won numerous modeling trophies. She is sad and croons about her feelings in such a beautiful voice that she is soon welcomed into a singing group. One night, she performs a solo in a competition and wins her very own trophy. The story is told in rhyming couplets and quatrains. Elya punctuates the English verses with well-integrated Spanish words that suit the tale's rhythm. Most appear next to an English equivalent while a few are integrated into sentences. The terms are presented in bold type and defined in a glossary with pronunciation guides. Many, like d'a and feliz, will be familiar to non-Spanish speakers and others, like pesta-as (eyelashes), are less common. The acrylic artwork is as playful as the writing; it's big, bright, and active. The toads are drawn as large circles with skinny limbs, spots, and bulging eyes. Colorful images and amusing details fill the spreads. A fun read-aloud.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This tale of two toads told in rhyme incorporates Spanish words into the story. "Sophie the toad, the wart-covered sapo, was fea-so ugly. Her brother was guapo. His toad warts-verrugas-were cuter and smaller." In fact, Sophie's brother is the best-looking in the bog with a mantle full of awards to prove it. Even though Sophie dreams of being a model too, it's her singing about her sorrows that leads to fame and her first trophy. The comic illustrations of the green blimpish, bug-eyed (a la Tedd Arnold) toads exaggerate the goofiness. Underscoring the message of self-worth, this combination of Spanish vocabulary, American Toad Idol and wartful whimsy is a "hoppy" tale that kids will relate to and chuckle over. And what kid hasn't coveted a trophy? Useful and fun in either a classroom or home venue. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)