Magia: En una tierra muy lejana

Vintage Español. Apr. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781644737958. SP.
Gr 1-4–A celebration of family and culture that encourages young readers to believe in the magic of their heritage. A narrator shares her love for the pineapple farm owned by her grandfather in Veracruz, Mexico, which has brought their family beauty and happiness. Readers will be drawn into this world through the narrator’s engaging first-person perspective. The enchantment of this far-off land permeates every area of her life. From family celebrations to moments of grief, every event is influenced by the power that comes from the land of her ancestors. The lyrical language, rhythmic flow, and rich vocabulary make this a wonderful read-aloud. The narrative has an intimate feel, as if the narrator herself is whispering to readers as they discover the magic in her life. A blue wave threads through the text, casting a glow on every page of the bright pastel and jewel-tone colors. The renderings offer another layer to the story, fleshing it out. Through these pictures, readers learn how the pineapple farm and family remain important despite time and distance. The wonder continues as the narrator grows up and moves to San Francisco where she still appreciates the magic in her life. Diversity within Mexico is represented with different skin tones and hair colors of members of the family. Pineapples can be seen hidden throughout, and touchstones of Mexican culture are highlighted, such as Day of the Dead celebrations, mariachi, piñatas, and banners made of papel picado.
VERDICT A beautiful ode to home that will resonate with children of all ages. A must purchase.

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