About the Author-
- Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of 25 children's books, including No English (2012 Forward National Literature Award), Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off (2010 CYBILS Literary Award, Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Honor Award, ALSC Great Early Elementary Reads), and Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash (named on 2013 List of Best Children's Books of the Year by Bank Street College Committee). Jules and her family live in Northern Virginia.
October 27, 2014
Three three-chapter stories comprise this humorous first book in the Sofia Martinez series, which features a highly personable elementary schooler and her tight-knit Hispanic family. In the first tale, Sofia struggles to stand out from her two older sisters, opting to take a cue from Baby Mariella and her oversize, attention-getting hair bow. Sofia and her cousins have a messy time making a piñata for their abuela in the second story, and an escaped pet mouse wreaks havoc in the third. Spanish words and phrases, printed in pink, appear throughout the text and dialogue (a glossary is included, though most of the Spanish words are decipherable through context), and Smith’s illustrations give Sofia and her family warmth and style—they look ready to headline an animated series of their own. Ages 5–7. Illustrator’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
January 1, 2015
Gr 1-2-Seven-year-old Sofia is the youngest of three sisters and likes to take charge of every situation. As school picture day arrives, she worries that no one can tell the girls apart and exchanges her photo from the previous year with that of a sibling. When no one notices the change, she seeks the aid of Hector, her faithful cousin and neighbor, to help her put together a look that no one will miss. Next, Sofia decides to make a pinata for her grandmother's birthday, which results in spilled flour, a very messy cat, and lots of family assistance. Her final escapade involves a runaway pet mouse in the house. Tender relationships with immediate and extended family, and especially with her papa, result in a lighthearted, enjoyable read. The illustrations are colorful and lively, albeit repetitive in nature, with characters looking a bit indistinguishable. Reminiscent of the television show Maya and Miguel, this book is appropriate for early readers, with widely spaced, large-size type, and generous use of white space. The inclusion of common Spanish terms and phrases lends a sense of authenticity to the characters, while the use of bright pink font to distinguish these words in the primarily English narrative and the addition of a glossary provides scaffolds for young readers.-Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, IL
Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
November 15, 2014
Everyday stories reminiscent of Ramona in an early chapter book.Sofia Martinez is a creative 7-year-old whose life revolves around her family. Sofia-who likes to stand out-is frustrated when she notices that she and both of her older sisters wore blue for last year's school pictures. Swapping the photos into different frames, Sofia is further annoyed when no one notices. In the next chapter, Sofia feels ignored when family members obsess over her baby cousin, who wears a big hair bow. Though Sofia is out of sorts for a while, a conversation with her caring Papa (one of many-but not too many-Spanish words peppered throughout) helps her hatch a plan to draw the spotlight. Two more episodes also appear in a series of short, accessible chapters and are more interesting than the first. Colorful illustrations on at least every other page should draw reluctant readers, while Spanish words and phrases printed in pink are easily identifiable should readers want to use the glossary for definitions (though the meanings of the words are usually made clear through context). The book's major drawback is that many of the characters look nearly identical; readers will have to look closely at hairstyles and height to distinguish Sofia from her sisters. In all, Sofia is a likable new protagonist to add to the lineup of chapter-book heroines. (Fiction. 6-9)
COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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