Thursday, October 24, 2013

Señor Pancho Had a Rancho by René Colato Laínez -- ADVISABLE

Laínez, René Colato Señor Pancho Had a Rancho, illustrated by Elwood Smith. PICTURE BOOK. Holiday House, 2013. $16.95. Content: G.

One side of each page spread contains the familiar lyrics to "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," complete with roosters, sheep, and cows, along with their respective sounds. The opposite side tells of Señor Pancho and his rancho, which is filled with gallos, ovejas, and vacas, all making their Spanish-language sounds. In the end, everyone finds common ground as the animals and farmers come together and dance.

The cartoony illustrations are a lot of fun, as is the refrain, "Señor Pancho had a ranch, cha-cha-cha-cha-cha." In addition, the Spanish translations of the animals and their sounds is informative, and the back-and-forth between the farmers -- as well as their ultimate dance party -- sends a positive message about celebrating differences while still embracing unity. Could be especially helpful in a classroom suffering from racial tensions. The Spanish translation does throw the rhythm off in quite a few places, making it difficult to sing, but practice helps.

EL (K-3) -- ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Caryn

No comments: