LOOKING FOR BONGO by Eric  Velasquez


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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A little boy searches for his lost toy.

An unnamed but adorable young boy awakens to find his beloved Bongo missing. Painterly oil illustrations show the boy looking under his covers and his bed to no avail. The opposite spread presents him standing in his pajamas and socks with an endearingly realistic questioning expression and stance. A search commences as he asks various family members (humans and pets alike) if they know Bongo’s whereabouts. No one does, but particularly astute readers may discover a clue as to who is responsible for Bongo’s disappearance. Spanish phrases in the dialogue are followed by their English translations in a matter-of-fact manner. Scenes such as one in which his mom combs his sister’s hair lend a warm, cozy feel. In a twist, readers discover who spirited Bongo away through the protagonist’s cleverness. Velasquez’s portrayal of a family that is both black and Latino (a rarity in children’s books) is refreshing. His clever (if not subtle) inclusion of his previous title (Grandma’s Records, 2001) may lead readers to seek out that worthy story. Unfortunately, Spanish words are italicized, a decision that perhaps should have been rethought given recent debate about the exclusionary nature of the practice. Still, this simple story with a twist should have wide appeal.

Darling. (glossary) (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8234-3565-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2016


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