El señor Pancho tenía un rancho

Holiday House. Dec. 2023. 32p. tr. from René Colato Laínez . pap. $8.99. ISBN 9780823456086. SP.
K-Gr 2–This Spanish translation of Señor Pancho Had a Rancho is as enjoyable as the original. Colato Laínez adapts his own text, and combined with Smith’s memorable art, the result is energetic and rollicking. Taking on the classic “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” the author presents two farmers—Don MacDonald and el señor Pancho, who have their hands full with their party animals. On one page, readers see Don MacDonald going about his daily routine on the farm, while on the opposite page, el señor Pancho does the same, albeit with some slight differences. While MacDonald’s animals make their traditional sounds in English, Pancho’s animals sing in their Spanish-language equivalent. For example, the chicks on the farm say “¡Pip!” the pollitos on the rancho say, “¡Pio!” Even the illustrations are depicted as either mirror or parallel images of the other, with differently colored cows or a dog for MacDonald and cat for Pancho, often sitting on the same spot on the opposite page. By the end, the animals take over the ditty when they meet their counterparts and start dancing along to a combined version of the two songs. Smith’s distinct line illustrations are the perfect fit for this silly rendition of an iconic tune. Colato Laínez and Smith expertly weave the two jingles to create a new story that can be used as part of a read-aloud, story time, or even curricular tie-in.
VERDICT Add this raucous twist on “Old MacDonald” to all Spanish collections.

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