"Little Roja Riding Hood" by Susan Littleton Elya is a familiar fairy tale that has been spiced up with a Latin point of view. Here, Granny is "Abuela," and the wolf is "el lobo."
Kids who know the story of Little Red Riding Hood love this retelling. While all kids enjoy this version, it's especially perfect for Hispanic children, who will love the inclusion of the mama watching "telenovelas" and the "sopa caliente" that Red uses to chase the wolf away.
Susan Guevara, the illustrator, does a wonderful job of keeping the pictures authentic. They are colorful, and there are details that kids will love looking at over and over. Three little blind mice adorn some of the pages, and there are elves in others. The grandma's house is decorated with crosses and other Latino effects -- all of it colorful and filled with joy.
Brilliant rhymes, bright and bold illustrations, un poquito español -- what more could any bilingual classroom teacher want? But even if you are not bilingual, get it anyway. All kids benefit from learning a bit of Spanish.
Why 5-stars? Kids love the combination of Spanish and English and they enjoy the rhyming text. The detailed illustrations help, too.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Putnam Juvenile, for review purposes.
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