Words and phrases are bent, massaged, twisted, and thrown together in tricky sequences in this bilingual book about a competition for performers of tongue twisters.
With all the text offered in first Spanish, then English, the tournament participants—including a soccer player, a cat-wrangling Grumpy Granny, and a chupacabra (the famed Latin American goat-sucking creature)—lay down a set of twisty verses. How twisty? "María Marufa was roofing her roof / When asked by a roofer: / 'What do you roof, María Marufa? / Do you roof your own roof or another's roof?' / 'No, I roof not my roof nor another's roof. / I roof the roof of María Marufa." Each text-heavy page of Spanish and English faces a full-page portrait of the tongue-twister creator on stage, which adds a nice dimension of characterization to each offering. But the book's format is so rigid that each introduction is exactly the same, and the winning entry may strike some as far from the best of the bunch. Luckily, the twisters are well-translated; whether in English or Spanish, they read smoothly, and an additional 14 bonus twisters presented in their original languages in the backmatter keeps the fun going.
A great read for anyone learning to grapple with the musicality of two languages at once, the book more than makes up for the paltry story with the bounty of tongue-twisting treasures on offer. (Bilingual picture book. 6-10)