The Taco Magician and Other Poems for Kids/ El Mago de Los Tacos Y Otros Poemas Para Niños

Piñata. Oct. 2019. 112p. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781558858916.
Gr 4-6–Organized into three parts, these free verse poems explore familiar topics related to family, relatives, food, and everyday activities. The first person narrative shares the thoughts of a young child who wiggles their toes and plays with toys, and an older one who undertakes multiplication and spelling homework. Although the poems lack a strict rhyming structure, the main character’s honesty and penchant for nostalgia provide a fresh and sincere perspective. For example, in the poem “Blankie,” the speaker reflects on the attachment to a beloved blanket: “Blankie kept me safe / in our hospital room. / Blankie kept me warm / in my new crib. / My blankie smells / like every new place / where I took it.” The first half of the book is written in English and the second half is written in Spanish. However, the Spanish text, which works as a literal translation of its English counterpart, lacks balance and an overall sense of fluency.
VERDICT A candid book of poems that may connect readers with affable memories associated with their own childhoods. A complementary addition to the Dewey 800 section of the children’s room in public libraries.

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