September 15, 2014

Gazpacho for Nacho

September is Hispanic Heritage Month and to celebrate, won't you read this delightful story to your little one! Gazpacho for Nacho is a fun and educational picture book that children and adults alike will love. It is about a picky little boy named Nacho, who wants only to eat a certain food - Gazpacho, a cold tomato-based vegetable soup that originated in Andalucia, Spain.

The story begins with Nacho refusing to eat anything but Gazpacho - not meat, not fish, not even helado (ice cream)! He wants to eat Gazpacho all the time - for lunch and dinner and even for breakfast! He even tells him mother that he thinks leche (milk) and churros, a Latino pastry is for the burros (donkeys)!

Nacho's mother eventually gets fed up with Nacho's pickiness and takes Nacho to the market where she introduces him to all the veggetables that go into making Gazpacho, so that Nacho can help her to make the soup, because she's worn out from making it all the time by herself. The trip to the market brings on a love of other vegetables by Nacho, which helps him to realize that there is more to life than Gazpacho. Once he's back at home cooking Gazpacho with his mother, Nacho also realizes that he enjoys cooking!

Gazpacho for Nacho is a fun picture book to read to a child who wants to learn Spanish, and features a Spanish-English glossary at the back of the book to help parents and children who need assistance pronouncing the Spanish words. It is also a great book for parents dealing with a stubborn child that wants only to eat certain food.

The illustrations by Carolina Farias, are simply beautiful, adding to the book's humorous and fun rhyming prose. Gazpacho for Nacho is sure to be enjoyed by children and parents of all cultures. It's positive, promotes healthy eating, as well as mother and son time, and will keep you smiling throughout.

Author: Tracey C. Kyle
Illustrator: Carolina Farias

September 12, 2014

B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC

I spy an I beam made out of steel,
and a Jackhammer making a noise you can feel.
Hear that Ka-boom? What a loud sound!
Look! That huge Loader scoops dirt from the ground.

Is your little one fascinated by big trucks and construction sites? If so, he or she will love B is for Bulldozer: A Construction Alphabet, a wonderful book that teaches children the alphabet by referencing construction site tools!

This adorable board book, also available in paperback, explains what asphalt is as well as a crane and a forklift, as well as their functions and so much more! For example, it explains why a hard hat is important, the name of that noisy and vibrating tool called a jackhammer, and what mallets and a loader is.

What I like most: the book is that it features diverse characters, including ones of different races, and doesn't just limit the characters to males; it includes a female welder, making it even more educational and inclusive. It's a book that can be enjoyed by both young boys and girls and children of color who don't often see themselves in picture books. For me, that makes it an A+.

B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC
Author: June Sobel
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai
Available at: Target, Amazon

September 6, 2014

Dancing in the Wings

Sassy makes her mark in this lovable story that proves when you aren't afraid to be yourself and go after your dreams, they can come true! Dancing in the Wings is a wonderful picture book by actress, dancer, and writer Debbie Allen, with equally wonderful illustrations by Kadir Nelson.

Since she could walk, all sassy wanted to do was dance. Unfortunately, she has unusually long legs and large feet, and is constantly teased by her big brother, who calls her "Big Foot. "She also gets teased by her fellow ballet dancers who one day call her "Tyrannosaurus."

Despite being the butt of jokes from others, Sassy pushes toward her dream of being a dancer - with the support of her mother and her Uncle Red who encourages Sassy to focus on how her differences can help her; such as her ability to jump higher and spin faster than anyone else in her ballet class.

Sassy takes Uncle Red's advice when she hears that a famed ballet instructor is going to come to her ballet class to choose one dancer for a prestigious summer dance festival in Washington, DC. At first, Sassy is worried that she is too awkward and would never be chosen, but then she remembers Uncle Red's advice, puts on her brightest leotard, and auditions for the spot in the dance festival - and is chosen to participate. Throughout the story, you are cheering for Sassy and the ending is so feel-good, you don't want the story to end.

Dancing in the Wings is a great story with a great message: Don't be afraid to be yourself AND when you're confident and do your best, you can make your mark on the world.  The book is a great story for a child who loves to dance but also for every child who has ever felt like they don't fit in. Sassy's story is also for any child who has dared to dream to make their mark on the world - whatever that dream may be.