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Summary: Guanín, our narrator, uses poetic verse to describe his family traditions and life in Puerto Rico. This is a pastoral book that celebrates and educates children about the Taíno history and culture.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read with 3½-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler routinely picked up the book and stared at the cover. S/he was clearly mesmerized by Guanín’s image. Still, we weren't very successful getting many readings, and were routinely told “the end” after just a few pages.
Adult Reader Reaction: The illustrations are incredibly beautiful. It is difficult to tell, at times, whether this is to be a rhyming verse or descriptive poem. When reading aloud, sometimes the rhyming and/or alliterations theme works, at other times, thought it is difficult reading.
Pros: The intricate, colorful illustrations will brighten any day, even if you don't read the text.
Borrow or Buy: This could go either way. The illustrations alone make it a beautiful book to have. Go to the library and seek this out. As a Latino family, it is a nice book for our personal collection.
Educational Themes: The story introduces children to Puerto Rico, and more specifically, the Taino culture (which they aren't likely to see elsewhere). The book offers a nice springboard for talking about the cultural histories and traditions in your own family.
Notes: This book is available in both Spanish and English versions.
Literary Categories: Fiction - historical fiction, family