GUN KISS will be released by Canada’s Imajin Books in Fall this year.
Genre: Mexico / Foreign Language / Educational / Party
Year Published: 2015
Year Read: 2017
Publisher: PoliglotKidz Press
Source: eARC (Author)
I would like to thank the author Judy Martialay for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Now, I have read many children’s books that dealt with teaching children about foreign languages, but I had never read a children’s book where a term would be phrased in English and then be translated into Spanish in the same sentence and author Judy Martialay has certainly created an intriguing story that combines both Spanish and English terms in her book “Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish: Visit New Places and Make New Friends!”
Basically, this book teaches children about Mexico and its culture and language, which their language is Spanish. There is also a story woven in this book that stars a small Mexican jumping bean named Panchito who wanted to find new friends that he could play with and he ends up journeying through the marketplace and winds up at a piñata party!
What will Panchito discover at the piñata party?
Read this book to find out!
Judy Martialay has done an excellent job at creating a book that would help children understand not only about the language of Mexico, but about its culture as well and I have always enjoyed children’s books that try to teach children about foreign cultures and how to pronounce their languages at the same time. I had a lot of fun in trying to pronounce the Spanish verses for the English verses, such as “Hola” meaning “hello” in Spanish and “Los Frijoles” meaning “beans” in Spanish and I loved the way that Judy Martialay had the English verse being spoken first and then the Spanish translation for that verse coming right after the verse such as this phrase “Look! Miren!” as it helps children see how that English verse is translated into Spanish. Judy Martialay’s artwork is extremely cute to look at as the characters are rendered in scratchy and simple outlines and I enjoyed the images of Panchito himself as he is shown as a jumping bean who has stick like legs and a small hat that he wears in each panel.
The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the pacing was a bit too slow at times and I sort of wished that the story moved at a faster pace in introducing us to the world of Mexico.
Overall, “Hola! Let's Learn Spanish: Visit New Places and Make New Friends!” is a great book for children in learning about Mexico and their language Spanish and would be a great book in helping children understand foreign languages! I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book and the Spanish language is introduced in a way that would be easy for smaller children to understand.
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
Ride the Pink Horse is all about atmosphere. You see the whole setting and the characters in black and white as you read. You can smell the sweat and you can feel the heat. Along with the sweat and the heat, the feeling of anxiety, helplessness, and despair are palpable. I’d never read anything by Dorothy B. Hughes before, but this story shows her to be a master of the noir genre. My highest compliment to a book is that you are there while reading it and this one puts you there. It wouldn’t have worked anywhere but in the time and place that Hughes put it. The setting, a fiesta in New Mexico, is as clear as if you were watching it on television. The reader is deeply inside the head of the protagonist, a petty thief from Chicago. You find yourself feeling anxious along with him and hoping for the downfall of the crime boss (a senator) that he is pursuing.
This book is of its time and there are some racist passages so read it with the understanding that it was published in 1946.
This book was provided by Netgalley which does not affect my honest review and rating of it.
In light of immigration remaining a hot topic, I finally decided to purchase this book that talks about what it says on the tin: the Chinese in Mexico. A few years ago I read a couple of articles (on the Huffington Post and NPR I think) about the presence of Chinese people in Mexico and how that group came to be. I've heard of Chinese people coming to the US but what drew them to Mexico?
Turns out the immigration laws and the Chinese Exclusion Act in the US led to "collateral damage" of sorts, where Chinese people (mostly men) settled in Mexico instead. The book looks at how and why these Chinese immigrants came to Mexico, some intentionally, others because they could not get into the US. How they built businesses, how they managed movement between Mexico, the US and China, how they dealt with Sinophobia, how they integrated with the locals, etc.
Overall it was fascinating. A mostly unintended consequence (perhaps) of the US immigration laws led to the creation of this community that was interesting to learn about. It was also sad to see that the same experiences of immigrants happen to the Chinese there: some were resented for their business success, their children were considered not Mexican, eventually a group of them would be driven out of one part of Mexico. It's a story that we have seen happening before and it happens again.
I also wish the author had brought up the book to more "modern" times. As the cover says, it's from about 1882-1940. The book was published in 2011 so I was disappointed not to see more about present day or at least a little closer to it. He does have some thoughts on how to integrate discussing a group like these Chinese-Mexicans into college courses and so I hope there will be more work/articles about them.
That said, the book is dry. The topic kept me interested because I really wanted to learn more after reading those articles but this book would very much be a text for a college program. I wish I could have picked it up at the library or found it as a bargain buy but even the used versions that I could find were not all that much cheaper. But I wanted to know and so I'm glad I had a chance to read it.
There's very little I liked about the first three stories I read. My main problem is I do not connect with the way Barkan writes. Sad to say, because the ideas behind the stories themselves were interesting. The delivery just isn't my thing. I have no want in my heart to pick this up again, so I'm not going to.
I'm giving this two stars instead of one because it's not garbage. It's simply not my thing.