Perro malo

Holiday House. (¡Me gusta leer!). Jul. 2022. 32p. tr. from English by Eida del Risco . pap. $8.99. ISBN 9780823451951. SP.
PreS-Gr 1–A young boy loves his adorable but mischievous little dog Tom when it is good and when it’s in trouble. Tom pulls on the tablecloth to grab the family’s food, chases Kit, the family’s cat, around the house, or makes the garbage can tumble. However, Tom is also a loving dog who helps the family find Kit when she is missing. In this early reader based on Bad Dog, McPhail offers a straightforward narrative built on one to three sentences, set to medium black font. He uses a mixture of speech bubbles to represent the thoughts of Mom, Dad, and Sister and background text to describe the boy’s account. The simple plot is built with easy Spanish terms and text repetition for the phrase “perro malo” (bad dog) which is, sadly, used too much in the story by the father and mother. The pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork, mostly set on a white background, is set to a smooth color palette with curved lines that provide movement to the expressive illustrations. Every character’s mood is delineated, fluctuating between being upset at Tom and thankful when he leads them to Kit.
VERDICT This early reader about behavior will connect with young kids who will interpret the body and facial expressions of the characters and understand the narrative through the visuals.

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