Saturday, June 15, 2013

Children's Book Review: Ole! Cinco De Mayo! by Margaret McManis

Olé! Cinco de Mayo!

Author: Margaret McManis
Illustrator: David Harrington

Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company

Date: February 27, 2013

About The Author
Margaret McManis, a former children's librarian, serves as a guest lecturer at schools, museums, libraries, and bookstores. Ms. McMannis is a graduate of the Vermont MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults Program and a member of the Writers' League of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, and Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Cinco De Mayo Fun!
Pablo takes his pet calf, Rodeo, to school for the Cinco De Mayo celebration. Rodeo makes a mess of Pablo's classroom, the gym, the library and every other part of the school building that he visits.

The teachers and principal are very angry because Rodeo is ruining Cinco De Mayo for the entire school. When he makes a mess of the celebration stage, it is the last straw for the frustrated principal. Finally, the music teacher finds a way to calm Rodeo and the little calf leads the festive Cinco De Mayo parade down the school hall.

Readers are encouraged to sing the words of this story to the tune of "B-I-N-G-O".  Here is the first verse of the song;

Pablo has a little calf,
Rodeo is his name-o.
Rodeo is his name-o.

There is a Glossary of Spanish words used in the text at the end of the book. There is also an "Easy Flan Recipe" and a short explanation of the Mexican Army's 1862 victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).

My Thoughts
When I worked as an elementary school librarian, I was always looking for books like this to share with students during story time. This book has a wide variety of learning opportunities for students. The story is entertaining and humorous. Children and adults can join together in singing the joyful song...some of my happiest memories are singing with the children in the library.

There are many Spanish words in this story that should be introduced and the meanings discussed. There is a recipe at the end of the book for a dessert that little Rodeo found very tasty when he visited the school cafeteria. Finally, the historical events that led to to a yearly Cinco De Mayo Celebration can be shared with the children.

The full-page color illustrations in this book are just delightful. My favorite picture is the angry "book boss" in the school LMC...she was not happy about Rodeo making a mess of the library.

I highly recommend this book for all elementary school students. Children in bi-lingual and ESL programs will fall in love with Rodeo. This book is perfect for read-aloud and sharing with large or small groups the year round.

My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5

FYI ~ The author gave me a print copy of this book to read and review. This book will be dedicated to a library so children will have an opportunity to enjoy it as much as I did.

Please share your thoughts in the Comments Section below.
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