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THE DOG WHO LOVED TORTILLAS/La perrita que le encantaban las tortillas

A new dog, Sofie, joins the family introduced in A Gift from Papá Diego (1998), to the absolute joy of the children, Little Diego and Gabriela. Though there is much competition between siblings as to whose dog she is and who loves her more, the controversy quickly ends when Sofie becomes seriously ill and the family endures two days and nights of anxiety and fear. Love, moral support and a bit of faith bring the drama to a happy conclusion while brother and sister gain insight into the sharing of all the responsibilities and joys of pet owning: Too many tortillas may not be such a good thing for the rambunctious puppy. Garcia’s signature folk-inspired, sculpted clay illustrations depict a lovably goofy little mutt; rounded shapes—heads, dog bed, tortillas and more—combine with a warm palette to create a cozy, comforting atmosphere that reflects the traditions of Mexican-American family life described in the dual English/Spanish narrative. A universal message with a Latino flavor. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-933693-54-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2009

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DIARY OF A SPIDER

The wriggly narrator of Diary of a Worm (2003) puts in occasional appearances, but it’s his arachnid buddy who takes center stage here, with terse, tongue-in-cheek comments on his likes (his close friend Fly, Charlotte’s Web), his dislikes (vacuums, people with big feet), nervous encounters with a huge Daddy Longlegs, his extended family—which includes a Grandpa more than willing to share hard-won wisdom (The secret to a long, happy life: “Never fall asleep in a shoe.”)—and mishaps both at spider school and on the human playground. Bliss endows his garden-dwellers with faces and the odd hat or other accessory, and creates cozy webs or burrows colorfully decorated with corks, scraps, plastic toys and other human detritus. Spider closes with the notion that we could all get along, “just like me and Fly,” if we but got to know one another. Once again, brilliantly hilarious. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-06-000153-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

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BECAUSE YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU

Give this child’s-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: “When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves? But he doesn’t. He wades out into the cold water. And he brings your ball back to the beach and plays roll and catch with you.” Alley depicts a moppet and her relaxed-looking dad (to all appearances a single parent) in informally drawn beach and domestic settings: playing together, snuggling up on the sofa and finally hugging each other goodnight. The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad’s mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 23, 2005

ISBN: 0-618-00361-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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