The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun. (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)
Copyright 2011 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission
Brown (Side by Side/Lado a lado) and Parra (Gracias/Thanks) gently portray a lifestyle 180 degrees from modern, technology-centric schooling. In rural Colombia, "Ana bathes her little brother and feeds the goats and collects the eggs to sell at the market," all the time longing to be back in her house reading her one and only book. The arrival of a librarian riding a burro brings more books and inspires Ana to write a book of her own. The traveling librarian and his donkeys, Alfa and Beto, are based on a real Colombian biblioburro, also the subject of Jeanette Winter's Biblioburro (2010). Parra's naive-styled acrylics brim with scenes of country life. A palette of salmon pinks and turquoise and sky blues, painted on board, give the book a rough-hewn, handmade quality and an innocent, childlike appeal (with her wide face, delicate features, and rouged cheeks, Ana even resembles a porcelain doll). In a metafictional ending, readers will notice that the book Ana hands the bibliotecario upon his return is this very book--fitting, as this truly is Ana's story. Ages 4-6. (July)Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
PreS-K—The pleasure and love of reading are joyfully brought forth in this simple, happily rendered tale. Inspired by the work of real-life librarian Luis Soriano Bohorquez, who takes his mobile library into the small villages and rural countryside of Colombia, this story features young Ana. She loves to read, but because her teacher moved away some time ago, she has just one book. Nevertheless, she enjoys it again and again, reading it to her younger brother while also entertaining him with fantastical stories of her own making. Then one exciting day, the Biblioburro stops in her village. The traveling librarian, carrying books on his burros Alfa and Beto, not only leaves books for her but also encourages her to use her vivid imagination to create tales of her own. When he returns some weeks later, Ana presents him with her finished book, which features the two burros. That night she sinks into bed knowing her story will be shared with other children when the Biblioburro arrives in their villages. Brown's tale flows well, and Parra's folkloric-style illustrations are nicely in tune with the book's setting, adding appropriate flavor to the storytelling.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MACopyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.