Again, Essie?

Charlesbridge. May 2022. 32p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781623542054.
PreS-Gr 2–From a series that weaves strong cultural connections and math concepts into a whole, this book features Rafael, who needs to protect his toys from his adorable but annoying baby sister, Essie. During Essie’s nap, he gathers materials to build a barrier to keep her from destroying his things. He carefully considers the size and shape of each item, and how it will work in his design scheme. Plenty of Spanish words in the story connect to Rafael’s culture, but his problem with his little sister is universal. At the end of the story, he finds that it’s more fun to include Essie than to keep her out. Most children will relate to this amiable story that limits the math concepts to building with three-dimensional shapes. Without the specific geometric nomenclature to help with build vocabulary, that part of the plot is weak, but the story gets by on its charms.
VERDICT A compelling story with connections to math, Latinx culture, and family dynamics; a lot of kids will identify with Rafael and be happy to see this book on the shelves.

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