Playful ceramics enact a traditional Mexican festival parade, from uno to diez.
“íAquí viene el desfile! / íCuenta conmigo!” With this buoyant invitation, readers are ushered into the traditional Oaxacan festival of Guelaguetza. From “[e]l señor de la marota” who leads the parade, through musicians, costumed “giants,” flower-bearing ladies and more, folk-art ceramics offer clear, eye-catching figures for little ones to count. Each set is positioned against the series’ now-trademark supersaturated backgrounds, the fuchsia, turquoise and ocher pages providing extra pop. The simple sentences, arranged in English-over-Spanish below the figures, offer brief explanations and reinforce the festive atmosphere (“Cover your ears! The fireworks are loud!”). Each number is spelled out in both English and Spanish, but there are no numerals to accompany the text. While there is a certain paucity in the variety of parade participants (two groups of musicians as well as three groups of costumed ladies), there’s no denying the effervescence of the event. The Aguilar sisters’ work appears in museums all over the world, and this book marks their first collaboration.
While not the only counting book children will ever need, this peek into Mexico’s art and traditions is certainly one of the most joyous they’ll encounter. (Picture book. 2-5)