Darío is excited for his younger brother Ariel’s upcoming birthday. How will the family celebrate?
Darío hopes that Ariel’s fifth birthday celebration will be as exciting as his was, with a huge party, all of his friends, and lots of presents. He can’t believe it when Ariel decides that all he wants is to eat bean and cheese tacos with his family in the park. How disappointing! But when the day arrives, Darío begins to see and feel how the little things make the day truly special for Ariel. Mom and Dad (Mamá and Papá in the parallel Spanish translation) pick the boys up from school together. The park is nearly empty, and they have the playground to themselves. The simple bean and cheese tacos are delicious. Ended here, the book would be a sweet tale of savoring the simple things in life. Unfortunately, it meanders on. The boys meet the park ranger, who takes them for a ride in his ranger car and shows them all of his important equipment, such as life jackets and his first aid kit. It’s a strange detour that causes the quality of the story to dissipate with every page turn. Though the illustrations do at times convey the joyful bond of the family, overall they appear lackluster and washed-out, doing little to enhance the text.
Benign but bland. (Bilingual picture book. 4-7)