About Me

My photo

Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at

http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at

http://reviewsforpenny.blogspot.com/

Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Smiling Burro by Mary Esparza-Vela Art by Mike Motz



The Smiling Burro, by Mary Esparza-Vela, with artwork by Mike Motz, is a sweet story about a boy and a burro.  Raulito, a young boy in Mexico, finds a stray burro who quickly becomes his pet.  As his pet burro, Pepito helps the family with their hauling chores.  In return, Pepito is lovingly spoiled by little Raulito. 

All goes well until one day Pepito goes missing.  Who knows what has befallen him?  Raulito is distraught and Papa fears Pepito has been stolen.  They’ve almost given up hope when Grandpa comes to visit.  Grandpa tells the children a scary ghost story to take Raulito’s mind off losing Pepito.  The ghost story spooks the children, but then leads right into the happy ending.  I don’t want to tell too much, but it’s my favorite part of the story!

The artwork by Mike Motz depicts family life in a small house on a mountain in Mexico.  The cartoon characters are cheerful and colorful, and add to our reading pleasure.  Children can describe Raulito’s home and compare it to their own homes.  They will gain a better understanding of life in rural Mexico and contrast it with their life here in America. 

Children will enjoy the story and can relate to loving and then losing a valued pet or a much-loved toy.  Since this story will also be available in Spanish, it will help facilitate bi-lingual education.  English speaking students can read the story in English and Spanish speaking students can read it in Spanish at the same time.  Thank you, Mary Esparza-Vela, for this pleasing story which shows a boy’s love for his pet, and provides insight into another country’s culture and a different way of life.
 TSB300.jpg

10 comments:

  1. It sounds like a very sweet story Penny. Thanks for a great review, and Mary I wish you much success with your new book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Susan, Thanks for your constant support and positive comments!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It sounds like a good one, Penny. Becoming bilingual can be a great advantage for kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jan, thanks for your comment and support--I like to see books in English/Spanish!

      Delete
  4. I love books that expose us to another culture. Thanks for the review, Penelope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kai, thanks for visiting and supporting. We are truly a multi-cultural country and need more cross-cultural stories.

      Delete
    2. Lovely book not set in the US. Brava. Love the idea!

      Delete
    3. Hi Nancy, Thanks for your welcome comments. Stories about other cultures really help kids to better understand the peoples and wide world we live in.

      Delete
  5. What a charming tale. And it is good for children to learn about other cultures. Sounds like a really fun read.

    Books for Kids + FREE Book Catalog
    http://tinyurl.com/d8ppylg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margot, thanks for your kind words and always being supportive. The more we expose our children to different cultures, the broader their world outlook.

      Delete