Sunday, April 21, 2019

Picture Book Review: Maya Papaya and Her Amigos Play Dress-up by Susan Middleton Elya

Maya Papaya and Her Amigos Play Dress-up by Susan Middleton Elya. Illustrated by Maria Mola. unpgd. Charlesbridge, October, 2018. 9781580898034. (Review of finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Maya Papaya is not only adorable, she possesses a great sense of fashion and a vivid imagination. She also owns an awful lot of "stufties" and loves to dress them as well as her dog and cat up in a variety of outfits.

Stories in rhyme can be hit or miss. This one hits it out of the park seamlessly weaving Spanish words into jaunty rhymes that read aloud easily. Digitally created pastel illustrations depict Maya and her amigos in a variety of activities through the four seasons.

The Spanish words are italicized and can be easily decoded from text and illustrations. A glossary at the back provides a pronunciation guide as well as the proper use of "the," el, la, los and las. 

Maya Papaya and Amigos Play Dress-up belongs in any pre-school to lower elementary classroom or library. Besides its obvious value in helping young students acquire Spanish, it celebrates imaginary play, getting out in nature, weather and the seasons. Such a sweet, versatile book!

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