Kirkus Reviews QR Code
DALE, DALE, DALE / HIT IT, HIT IT, HIT IT by René Saldaña Jr.


Una Fiesta De Números / A Fiesta of Numbers

by René Saldaña Jr. ; illustrated by Carolyn Dee Flores

Pub Date: May 31st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-55885-782-7
Publisher: Arte Público

Mateo’s birthday is full of excitement, family and many things to count in English and Spanish.

With minimal bilingual text, readers count along throughout Mateo’s birthday fiesta. As he waits for the party to begin, he helps prepare the decorations and takes a peek at the party favors that have been prepared for his guests. There are five lucha libre masks, six tops, seven bubble bottles and nine toy cars. When his 11 cousins arrive to celebrate, there is music and birthday cake. But best of all, there is the birthday piñata that Mateo will strike open as together they sing a traditional song, “Dale, dale, dale.” The lyrics to the piñata-breaking song are included in both English and Spanish, but the lack of any note or information about it is a missed opportunity. However, the exuberant energy of the book as a whole makes up for this oversight. The full-spread illustrations capture Mateo’s enthusiasm and the work his family has put into preparing such a lively party. While many of the illustrations are photorealistic, others are more playful, such as the images of Mateo striking his best lucha libre poses or an image of all of the children at the party displayed on the screen of a digital camera.

A contemporary and festive Latino birthday celebration.

(Bilingual picture book. 3-6)