Third-grader Graciela becomes convinced that her cat, Pip, is able to speak Spanish when he looks at his empty bowl and appears to say, "Quiero más, Graciela," in a story that introduces basic Spanish words and phrases.
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Grade 2-4-Third grader Graciela is shocked when her white cat, Pip, starts speaking to her in Spanish. She has to deal with the situation by herself since her parents are seriously strange (maybe "because they're parents") and a friend from school thinks she's loca. So Graciela asks Pip to tell her her story and this feline does-in Spanish, which is translated in footnotes at the bottom of each page. It seems that Pip was befriended by an eccentric kindly neighbor who taught her Spanish (and several other languages). The details (perhaps involving earphones) remain a secret between Se?or Medina and Pip, but Graciela enjoys her new talking cat and her new friend. Unfortunately, a gossipy neighbor alerts the media and Se?or Medina is hounded into moving away with Pip. Graciela is devastated until her pet returns, now black and speaking French. On one level, this is a charming animal fantasy that is engaging and entertaining, with a sprinkling of Spanish words and a believable heroine. However, readers are sure to be distracted by concern for Graciela's parents, who repeatedly act irrationally, misunderstand what she says, and speak in nonsequitors. Soto's intended effect isn't clear (is it an attempt at humor? a child's perspective of how parents act?), and compromises the success of the book.
Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-5. Unconventional in more ways than one, this chapter book gives primary-grade readers their first taste of magic realism when Graciela's cat, Pip, begins speaking in Spanish. Pip plays a cagey game for a while, alternating Spanish words with "meow," until Graciela becomes thoroughly frustrated--by the cat and by the uncomprehending humans in whom she confides. Most authors would simply settle for a talking-animal story, but Soto creates a world that is slightly bizarre and surreal. Adult readers may find this more off-putting than will kids, for whom the adult world probably often does seem strange. What some children may balk at are the asterisked Spanish words in the text, which Soto defines at the bottom of the page. Others will relish both the chance to pick up a few foreign phrases and the fanciful story. Susan Dove Lempke
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Descripción Scholastic Paperbacks, 1997. Mass Market Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0590470027
Descripción Scholastic Paperbacks, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0590470027
Descripción Scholastic Paperbacks, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110590470027
Descripción Scholastic Paperbacks. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0590470027 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0307965