Review Blog

Sep 14 2015

Sofia Martinez : My Family Adventure by Jacqueline Jules

cover image

Ill. by Kim Smith. Picture Window Books, 2015. ISBN: 9781479557905
(Ages: 5-7) For schools teaching Spanish as a second language, Sofia Martinez and her family will be a great resource as the two languages are seamlessly combined in the stories which focus on family life in the Martinez house. The pink writing for the Spanish may have some boys cringing but it also indicates they are special and can be found in the glossary.
In the first episode Sofia decides that she and her sisters all look alike. With school photos coming up she decides to make sure she stands out in the crowd by borrowing her cousin's hair bow.
In the next episode Sofia decides to make a pinata for Abuela's birthday. Unfortunately just as she and her cousins are preparing to make the paste, Hector drops the bag of flour which lands on the cat. In the chaos that follows, and after cleaning up the mess, it takes some convincing for Tia Carmen to allow them to complete the project.
An escaping class pet, a white mouse, causes Sofia to have some anxious moments as she tries to recapture it before Albert finishes his piano lesson.
The colourful illustrations, larger well-spaced font and of course the pink Spanish words and phrases make the text easy to read. The creativity and thoughtfulness Sofia displays as she interacts with her extended family is engaging. Even if Spanish isn't a focus language the exposure to it and the opportunity to predict what Sofia might be saying is a valuable activity in itself for young readers.
Sue Keane

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