ON RAM¢N'S FARM

FIVE TALES OF MEXICO

Easy-to-read vignettes revisit the style and theme of Rosa's magical encounters with animals in Geeslin's In Rosa's Mexico (1996, not reviewed). Here, Ramón does his chores while whimsically interacting with five different farm animals and making up a rhyme about each one's quirky antics. Two sheep weep when he shears their wool, a burro takes two steps backward for every forward motion, a pig is too full in the belly to engage in bull-fighting. Ramón tries to arrive at simple solutions for each eccentricity, à la his Puerto Rican counterpart, Juan Bobo. A few of these tales have folktale leanings, and each is introduced with an elementary Spanish glossary, after which the Spanish words are skillfully used in context. Earth-toned folk-art illustrations are friendly and funny, a warm match for Ramón, who turns the routine of everyday tasks into his own personal fiesta. (Picture book. 3- 7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-689-81134-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1998

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SAY HELLO!

Today Carmelita visits her Abuela Rosa, but to get there she must walk. Down Ninth Avenue she strolls with her mother and dog. Colorful shops and congenial neighbors greet them along the way, and at each stop Carmelita says hello—in Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and more. With a friendly “Jambo” for Joseph, a “Bonjour” at the bakery and an affectionate “Hey” for Max and Angel, the pig-tailed girl happily exercises her burgeoning multilingual skills. Her world is a vibrant community, where neighborliness, camaraderie and culture are celebrated. Isadora’s collaged artwork, reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats, contains lovely edges and imperfections, which abet the feeling of an urban environment. Skillfully, she draws with her scissors, the cut-paper elements acting as her line work. Everything has a texture and surface, and with almost no solid colors, the city street is realized as a real, organic place. Readers will fall for the sociable Carmelita as they proudly learn a range of salutations, and the artist’s rich environment, packed with hidden details and charming animals, will delight readers with each return visit. Simply enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-25230-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2010

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CAT'S COLORS

Those who think they've seen everything in the ubiquitous color concept-book genre haven't seen Cabrera's debut, an irresistible take on the subject. An orange-and-black kitten takes children on a trip through his world and invites them to discover his favorite color. In a series of involving spreads, the kitten explores the world and introduces both concepts and colors. Each time the kitten asks if a particular color is it, viewers are treated to a boldly gestural, accomplished oil painting in green, pink, black (``the night when bats swoop and soar''), red, yellow, purple (``the yarn I tangle in my claws''), brown, blue, white (``the clouds floating in the sky''), or orange. ``Is it orange? Yes! . . . the color of my mother.'' The art is childlike and comforting, with broad, visible strokes of the brush. Impish and informational. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8037-2090-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1997

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