Diego & Frida

Lil’ Libros. (Medias Naranjas/­Better Half). Oct. 2023. 22p. Board $11.99. ISBN 9781948066129. BL.
PreS-Gr 1–This cute entry launches a charming board book series about “Medias Naranjas,” or “Other Halves.” It introduces young readers to the power couple of Mexican art history. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are featured as two artists who influenced each other to do their best work. They are depicted with oversized heads and childlike faces. The collage-style art is presented with bold colors. Different shades of blue are included throughout, a call out to Kahlo’s famous Casa Azul. In this bilingual offering, the Spanish text is more poetic, with rhyming text and a lilting rhythm. In English, the subjects are described as “best friends,” though in Spanish, they are described as a couple; oddly, their married status is never mentioned. Despite the format, this book, even as a read-aloud, is more appropriate for early elementary students. The language is sometimes flowery with vocabulary that will fly over little ones’ heads. However, the emphasis on the artists’ careers, the impact they had on each other and Mexican culture, and their mark on the world is what matters here.
VERDICT Adorable format and iconic subjects make this a general purchase for bilingual collections.

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