José Lozano’s cool alliterative riffs on the alphabet and his wacky drawings combine la cutura del barrio with Mr. Rogers smarts to make for a wonderful read-aloud ABC book in Spanish and English. So take a stroll around the block in José’s neighborhood—or, as they might say it in Spanish, una vuelta a la manzana, a turn around the apple. So, listen up to this little bit of gossip he has to say about Benito when he passes his house:
B is for Benito who loves baseball, bumblebees and big bean burritos. His Uncle Bobby gave Benito a bugle for his birthday. Benito blows his bugle so loud even Aunt Betty can hear it ten houses away.
This book is so cool it will make you want to practice the alphabet in your own ‘hood—in Spanish and English!
"With this amusing trip through the streets of a Mexican-American neighborhood, readers will discover the lives, adventures, secrets, hobbies and special skills of a most varied gallery of personages.
"With the skills of a master storyteller, Lozano creates in each page, in alphabetical order, a lively, one-paragraph portrait using words that start with the same initial letter of his characters' names: "B is for Benito who loves baseball, bumblebees, and big bean burritos"; "I is for Isabel who likes to stay indoors, cruise the Internet and write interesting stories"; "P is for Pablo who has won many prizes for playing the piano perfectly." (Los Otros, hermanos Toñio, Lluvia and Chuy, new to the neighborhood, haven't yet learned English.)
"The author's detailed and vibrant gouache paintings are framed as pictures in an album, reflecting the festive spirit of a real Hispanic community. Crosthwaite's excellent Spanish rendition maintains the savor and rhyme of the original text and its clever wordplay, making the story enjoyable in both languages. Drawings of alphabet cubes serve as dividers between the texts." —Kirkus Reviews