ROBERTO’S TRIP TO THE TOP by John B. Paterson Jr.


Age Range: 5 - 8
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An earnest, not entirely successful effort, this straightforward story details a visit to the top of Mt. Ávila, overlooking Caracas. Young Roberto has been promised the trip on the cable car as a reward for his hard work in school. Initially disappointed that his father can’t take him as planned, Roberto easily adapts when his beloved uncle Antonio accompanies him instead. Their hike on the mountain is marred by the loss of Roberto’s brand-new camera, but uncle and nephew are equally relieved that Roberto’s misstep didn’t have more serious consequences. Roberto’s ingenuous enjoyment of the natural world is appealing, but the story suffers from a tendency to tell rather than show. Roberto’s near fall, for example, lacks real tension. The casual inclusion of Spanish words into the text is a plus, but the narrative is overlong. Alarcão’s acrylic paintings show a realistic, albeit somewhat simplified vision of people and places. While the illustrations add appeal, observant listeners will note that they often don’t quite match the actions described. Sincere but substandard. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-2708-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009


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