3 out of 4 stars
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La Beluga Tortuga is different from the other sea turtles; instead of being green, she is albino white. La Beluga Tortuga swims, plays with her friends, sings with her mother, and laughs with her father. She is a happy little turtle who is thankful for her blessings.
La Beluga Tortuga: Hace Mucho...All Day! by Bobbie Wright Grogan is a bilingual children's picture book. It displays Spanish text on one side of the page and English on the other. The book features lovely colorful illustrations and introduces concepts such as self-acceptance, friendship, family, happiness, persistence, and thankfulness to young children.
I particularly like that this delightful story has a quality that I call "read-it-again appeal." From the many children's books I've read aloud as an early childhood teacher, parent, and grandparent, I know little ones will enjoy repeating "All Day!" over and over. The consistent line is present on each page to emphasize the importance of perseverance and persistence.
On the other hand, I dislike that the book doesn't contrast differences in characters as promised. The author mentions in the introduction that the main character is different from other sea turtles and that the book "teaches children to embrace their own differences and to accept the differences of others." Sadly, young children may experience the need to conform from an early age, so I anticipated the promised relevant message of celebrating differences in others. However, while the story demonstrates that the main character is happy as an albino turtle, I feel the author missed the opportunity to contrast differences in others. The book refers to friends, Mommy, and Dad, but although other turtles and fish are pictured, their differences aren't described. It's wonderful that the book is bilingual, but showing a different character speaking another language would reinforce accepting differences in others.
Additionally, the font size is too small. While the buzz phrase is displayed in large font and all caps, the rest of the text is tiny. This doesn't appear to be a formatting issue as the book is otherwise properly formatted. I appreciate the desire to emphasize the repeated phrase by contrasting the two font sizes. However, increasing the font size of the primary text would make the book easier to read.
Overall, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the missed opportunity to celebrate differences in others, the story is professionally edited, introduces Spanish, and delivers a positive multithemed message to young children. I recommend the sweet read-aloud story for little ones through the age of six.
La Beluga Tortuga
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