Saturday, December 10, 2016

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

Cover image for Juana & LucasJuana lives in Columbia and her best friend is her dog Lucas.  She loves her mother, she loves her school friend, and she likes her teacher.  She is a pretty good student, until they start learning English at school.  English is just too crazy, and the "th" sound tickles her tongue.  She wonders why she even needs to learn English.

Here is an intermediate book that has received starred reviews and deservedly so. It is even on some of the potential Newbery lists.  The writing is fun and full of energy.  There are a lot of Spanish words inserted into the text, but their meanings are clear from context. The illustrations on every page have a lot of kid appeal. I think non-native English speakers will love it, but native English speakers will, too, and it will help them understand a little the challenge of learning our wacky language.  I don't think this one will win the Newbery, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wins the Geisel  (the award for the best early reader) or at least a Belpre (for best book showing the Latin American experience) (88 p.)

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