Enemy Pie (2000) extends its message to readers of Spanish.
How to get rid of an enemy: First, have your parent bake a pie filled with secret, enemy-destroying ingredients; second, spend the entire day with your enemy; third, be sneaky—pretend to be nice to your enemy; fourth, serve your enemy an enormous piece of pie with a scoop of ice cream and wait for their hair to fall out. Public enemy No. 1, Jeremy Ross, has returned after nearly two decades—speaking Spanish. Even with a new name, he’s still trouble. Joaquín Rojas laughs at the narrator while playing baseball and doesn’t invite him to his trampoline party. And adding insult to injury, he cozies up to the beleaguered hero’s best friend, Esteban. Joaquín needs to go. King’s illustrations, populated with oversized, bobbleheaded kids (all pale-skinned), remain fresh while neatly complementing the dry-witted text. From the individually mortared bricks in the walkway to the exploded water-balloon carcasses on the street and sidewalk, the detailed scenes chronicle a not-so-ordinary summer’s day in a middle-class neighborhood. Lombana’s translation preserves the integrity of the original text and flows effortlessly. It’s disappointing that the activity-rich website suggested on the jacket flap is not similarly bilingual.
Munson’s now-classic tale of sandlot rivalry morphing into friendship is as effective in Spanish as it is in English. (Picture book. 5-9)