Carlota Wouldn't Say Boo

tr. from Spanish by Robin Sinclair. illus. by Emilio Urberuaga. 40p. NubeOcho. Jun. 2016. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9788494292958.
PreS-Gr 2—For years Carlota, the diminutive star of this Spanish import, has communicated only with facial expressions and gestures. Her parents, her friends, and even passersby have understood her every need and want. Until one day she accidentally locks herself in the pantry and finds that the tomato cans and jars of jam are not so adept at interpreting her grimaces. Frightened and alone, she uses her voice to yell for her parents and discovers afterward that she has a great deal to say after all. The whimsical narrator addresses readers directly, asking questions, giving warnings and asides, and even commenting on the narration itself. The flat areas of color, thick outlines, and abstracted backgrounds give the illustrations a folk art or expressionist feel that may be jarring to American audiences. Vignettes of Carlota's (possibly imaginary, certainly mischievous) friend Tom the mouse add levity.
VERDICT A charming but odd additional purchase for collections where European imports are popular.

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