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Manana, Iguana
Cover of Manana, Iguana
Manana, Iguana

Iguana is planning a fiesta, but her lazy trio of friends loses out in this clever update of the story of the Little Red Hen, with a Mexican twist. A glossary of Spanish words is included.

Iguana is planning a fiesta, but her lazy trio of friends loses out in this clever update of the story of the Little Red Hen, with a Mexican twist. A glossary of Spanish words is included.

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    1 - 2

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 30, 2004
    The little red hen goes south of the border—and takes on the guise of an iguana—for this bilingual twist on an old favorite. "On Monday, lunes
    ," Iguana decides to have a fiesta on sábado
    to celebrate spring. But each day when she asks her friends Conejo (rabbit) and Tortuga (turtle) to help with the preparations—writing the invitations, stuffing the piñata, etc., they respond, "Yo no
    . Not I." Culebra (snake) is no better—his pat answer is to flash a friendly smile and promise "If I grow arms tonight, I'll help you mañana
    , Iguana." When party day arrives, it's not too hard to guess who isn't on the guest list. But unlike the original tale, Paul (Eight Hands Round
    ) and Long (The Day My Runny Nose Ran Away
    ) don't end the story there. The three lazy friends have a pang of conscience, and while the pooped reptile hostess sleeps, they clean up the party mess. When grateful Iguana offers them leftovers, the response is "¡Yo sí!
    " Paul's inclusion of Spanish words into the largely English text can be clunky, coming off as a thinly veiled lesson ("Conejo hopped up and down.... Tortuga poked out of his shell"). But the running joke of Culebra's empty promise is a hoot, and Long's cartoons comically play up the three friend's empty-headed idleness (at one point, they're found turning a cactus into a desert equivalent of a snowman), and Iguana's slow boil. Ages 4-8.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2004
    K-Gr 3-The little red hen finds a south-of-the-border counterpart in this version seasoned with Spanish words. Iguana's idea to throw a fiesta meets with approval from her friends Conejo (rabbit), Tortuga (turtle), and Culebra (snake). However, as she prepares the invitations, stuffs the pi-ata, cooks the food, and hangs the streamers, Iguana asks for their assistance and is repeatedly given the same excuses. Conejo insists he's too fast to complete a task properly; Tortuga explains that he is too slow; and Culebra (although he is always willing) sadly can only help "Ma-ana, Iguana, when I grow my arms." Iguana takes charge and insists upon greeting and entertaining her guests alone. The others finally realize their neglect and find a solution that repairs their friendship. Vibrant cartoon illustrations in watercolors and gouache propel the text, clearly revealing Iguana's joys, anger, and frustration. Although numerous variations of this tale have appeared in recent years, this rendition with its predictably repetitive but creative answers has a lot of appeal. A glossary of Spanish terms and their pronunciations is included. A first choice for all libraries.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

    Copyright 2004 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 1, 2004
    PreS-Gr. 3. This lively tale starring an industrious iguana and her fun-loving but lazy friends does the "Little Red Hen" with a Latin beat and a positive spin. On Monday, Iguana announces her plans for a Saturday party. Her pals--a rabbit, a turtle, and a snake--greet each invitation to work with excuses. A running joke throughout is the snake's promise to help if he grows arms by " manana." The annoyed iguana does all the work herself, writing and delivering invitations, cooking, and filling a pinata. When Fiesta comes, Iguana won't let her lazy friends attend, and then works out a clever way to redeem themselves. The hot-colored gouache artwork vividly conveys the southwestern desert, and comical touches, such as Iguana's chef's hat, keep the tale cheery. Spanish words sprinkled through the text (a glossary precedes the story) help give things an authentic feel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2004, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews Paul offers a clever dual-language update of the The Little Red Hen. Iguana is planning a fiesta on Saturday; her friends are excited about attending, but not about helping with the preparations. Each has an excuse: Conejo the rabbit does things too fast and would ruin them, while Tortuga the tortoise is too slow; Culebra the snake is willing to help mañana—when he grows arms. All work and no play makes for a grouchy Iguana, who disinvites her friends. As the lazy trio watches the party from the sidelines, they recognize that they should have helped, so as Iguana sleeps that night, they pitch in and clean up, and all is forgiven in the morning. Long's illustrations incorporate the bright colors and geometric designs of Mexico. Careful observers will see through the animals' excuses as they play in the background while Iguana works. An excellent chance for young readers to practice using context clues and to learn some Spanish vocabulary.
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    Holiday House
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Manana, Iguana
Manana, Iguana
Ann Whitford Paul
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