4 out of 4 stars
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El Gato Gordo y Otras Rimas by Barbara Sirotkin is a delightful children's poetry collection written in Spanish. The various poems range from amusing anecdotes about different animals to lessons about nature, weather, fear, and compassion. The book features colorful art by Blueberry Illustrations that will appeal to young readers.
The 25-page book features 15 poems, and the synopsis describes the collection as a "...unique and creative teaching tool" for both language teachers and Spanish learners. While several of the poems are humorous and entertaining, others teach age-appropriate lessons and vocabulary. For instance, "Las Monstruos" is about a boy who hides under his bed because he is afraid of monsters, but after his mother comforts him, he sleeps peacefully. "Las Cuatro Estaciones" identifies the seasons and describes the changes in nature and weather, such as colorful trees in Autumn and flowers in Spring.
I particularly like the assortment of humorous characters featured in Sirotkin's poems. Young readers will be delighted by the chubby feline in the title poem, an astronomy-loving snake who hangs out in the library, and a witch who enjoys a hot dog and Coca-Cola during her broom ride. The accompanying whimsical illustrations complement the collection, and I also appreciate that the vibrant artwork depicts children of various races, which carries special significance in today's current social climate.
There is nothing I dislike or improvements I would suggest for this entertaining children's poetry book. The collection of Spanish poems is educational and exceptionally edited and will appeal to children ages five and older. Older students may enjoy reading it to their younger siblings.
I am pleased to rate El Gato Gordo y Otras Rimas 4 out of 4 stars. The author's expertise as a Spanish teacher for over thirty years shines through her exemplary collection. I recommend it to Spanish-speaking students and as a fun resource for teachers, parents, and grandparents.
El Gato Gordo y Otras Rimas
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