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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
El Perro con Sombrero meets Los Gatos con Gelatos: English and Spanish Edition is a bilingual animal adventure storybook for children, grades k-3, written by Derek Taylor Kent, illustrated by Lynx Animation Studios, and translated into Spanish by Mara Martinez. Dogs and homework have traditionally been at odds with each other, and teachers are often far too familiar with the plaintive excuse of a child’s dog having eaten their homework -- which they actually do, sometimes. Pepe was a dog with an entirely different idea about homework. He waited patiently while his best friend, little Lucia, finished her math assignment. Then the two of them went outside to play. The only part of the day that Pepe definitely did not like much was the bath Lucia insisted he take when they got home. Early the next day, Lucia gave her pal a hug and ran off to catch the bus. Pepe looked at the desk and suddenly saw it -- her homework -- she had forgotten it. Thinking quickly, he grabbed his sombrero and the homework and set off to Lucia’s school. He had 10 minutes before class started. Could he make it?
This book is exciting and fun, with an ample amount of suspense on almost every page. Along the way, kids learn a second language in the best way possible -- how it’s used in everyday speech. The author uses words that have similar Latin roots, which makes it easy for kids to begin translating on their own, and the constructions of English/Spanish sentences are nicely paralleled. I found reading the English words and guessing at the Spanish to be irresistible and fun. Lynx Animation Studios did a splendid job of bringing Pepe, Lucia and everyone you’ll encounter in this book to life in a series of brightly colored and cheerful images. Check out the expressions on their faces and watch how the amazing Pepe actually flies through the air at one point. I had a grand time reading and am quite sure kids will love it as much as I do, if not a lot more. Most highly recommended.