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Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers' Favorite
Pat is the smallest pig on the farm where she lives. Because she is the smallest of her 10 brothers and sisters, she is called 'the runt.' She has a wild imagination, keeping her mind busy as she plays, and sometimes getting her into trouble. When the farmer would call the pigs in to eat dinner at the trough, Pat could never make it in time for a spot, and went to bed hungry. What can Pat do so that she can eat dinner when the farmer calls her and the other piglets? Will she be able to think of a solution in time?
First and Fast: Little Pat's Story written by Pat Alvarado is a delightful children's early reader book introducing its audience to the new language of Pig Latin, the concepts of problem solving, determination and perseverance. Children love farm animals. The author does well by making the main character a piglet as children are often more comfortable with stories containing animals. It keeps their attention focused on that particular animal or character, rather than having their minds wander from the story as children often do. The plot and the text are easily comprehended and read. An early reader would have no problems with the vocabulary and concepts within the book. A reader can expect to learn determination or how to never give up. Pat, the main character, is faced with the problem of being smaller than the rest of the other piglets and is always the last one to eat as a result. She must reach deep within herself (determination) to find a way to be first to eat (problem solving).
This book also has the lovely quality of being a bilingual read by having a section written in Pig Latin. That quality of the book is a great recourse for teachers, librarians, and parents to utilize when introducing young children to another language. Readers can also enjoy the vibrant, well illustrated pictures throughout the entirety of the book. First and Fast: Little Pat's Story by Pat Alvarado is an all-round enjoyable, educational, and exciting story for young readers to listen to or read themselves.