GET READY FOR GABÍ by Marisa Montes

GET READY FOR GABÍ

A Crazy Mixed-Up Spanglish Day
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A third-grader of Puerto Rican descent, Gabi (the accent comes later) speaks Spanish at home and English at school. Her mother hates even the slightest hint of Spanglish—the mixing of Spanish and English—but as pressures mount at school and Gabi finds it difficult not to lose her temper at Johnny, her classmate and nemesis, it seems she can do nothing but speak Spanglish. Lightweight, but firmly focused on the everyday trials and tribulations of the spunky Gabi—and told through her voice—this will appeal to lots of girls, especially Latinas, who are ready to move out of beginning readers and into their own chapter books. Both sentences and paragraphs are short and direct, and Gabi’s narration includes plenty of kid-friendly dialogue, sometimes in Spanish or Spanglish, all of which is explained within the tale. Coupled with the sheer exuberance of Gabi’s family, the narrative voice may have some crying “stereotype,” but a truer comparison would be with sitcoms such as George López and The Brothers García. Cepeda, who also teamed with Montes on the picture-book folktale Juan Bobo Goes to Work (2001), here provides numerous black-and-white line illustrations, scattered throughout and often worked into the text block. Gabi’s almost triangular haircut—reminiscent of an Egyptian sphinx’s headdress—and the gleeful facial expressions of Johnny and Gabi’s little brother Miguelito add to the generally “hyper” feeling of the story itself. A glossary of Spanish terms is included. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-439-51710-9
Page count: 124pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2003




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