Opposites, animals, and Spanish vocabulary introduce concepts to early readers.
Arena introduces readers to purple-backpack–wearing Marta, an adventurous explorer. As she journeys through a fanciful backyard “jungle,” light-skinned Latina Marta discovers and observes the opposites between herself and the animals she encounters, from size to speed to stealth. “To a horse, Marta is lenta. Slow, very slow.” The page-turn completes the contrast: “To a turtle, Marta is rápida. Fast, very fast.” The Spanish words are printed in orange and a playful typeface, a clever approach to avoid italics, an old-fashioned norm. After a series of polarities that introduce Spanish descriptive vocabulary, the journey reintroduces the animals in Spanish translation and offers gentle contradictions to the earlier assertions. “Marta is loud like el león,” and next to the phrase, there’s a profile of a lion in midroar and Marta with a megaphone. Pura Belpré honoree Dominguez’s green, brown, and tan illustrations capture the movement in each spread: an elephant’s trunk in midswing, a galloping horse with leaves floating behind, a rabbit hopping away from Marta.
Marta’s adventure is an enjoyable way to introduce animals, observe concepts, and identify comparisons and polarities in English and en Español. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)