Monica De Los Reyes

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Review of Mari and the Curse of El Cocodrilo

Mari and the Curse of El Cocodrilo by Adrianna CuevasIntermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    256 pp.10/23    9780063285491    $18.99e-book ed.  9780063285514    $10.99Twelve-year-old Mari loves her family but tries to avoid “Peak Cubanity,” the times she feels their Cuban heritage sticks out in her small Texan town. When everyone else burns effigies in...

Review of The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent

The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent by Irene Vasco; illus. by Juan Palomino; trans. from Spanish by Lawrence SchimelPrimary    Eerdmans    40 pp.10/23    9780802856173    $18.99e-book ed.  9781467467247    $18.99A young teacher (unnamed in the text) sets off to her remote school assignment in the Amazon armed with determination and a precious...

Review of Before the Devil Knows You’re Here

Before the Devil Knows You’re Here by Autumn KrauseHigh School    Peachtree Teen    227 pp.10/23    9781682636473    $18.99e-book ed.  9781682636480    $11.99When Catalina’s pa dies after drinking cider made from a poisoned apple, “wind burst through the cabin like a ferocious intruder…a man, but his skin rose and fell in patchy, lopsided ridges....

Game of Freedom

In Game of Freedom: Mestre Bimba and the Art of Capoeira (also published in Spanish as Juego de libertad: Mestre Bimba y el arte de la capoeira), Duncan Tonatiuh immortalizes Manoel dos Reis Machado (1899–1974), more commonly known as Mestre Bimba. Bimba’s contributions to capoeira, the Brazilian jogo (game) that...

Review of Farewell Cuba, Mi Isla

Farewell Cuba, Mi Isla by Alexandra DiazMiddle School    Wiseman/Simon    336 pp.9/23    9781534495401    $17.99e-book ed.  9781534495425    $10.99Spanish ed.  9781665911191    $17.99Fleeing Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 1960, Victoria’s family is sure they will be in Miami for only a few weeks—a few months, max—until the United States helps topple Castro’s regime. Still, soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old...

Review of The Last Slice: A Three Kings Day Treat

The Last Slice: A Three Kings Day Treat by Melissa Seron Richardson; illus. by Monica ArnaldoPrimary    Little, Brown    40 pp.12/23    9780316436298    $18.99The Rosca de Reyes for Three Kings Day looks delicious, but Marta is terrified of accidentally swallowing the Niño Dios figure hidden inside the cake. She fears the religious...

Review of It’s Navidad, El Cucuy!

It’s Navidad, El Cucuy! by Donna Barba Higuera; illus. by Juliana PerdomoPreschool, Primary    Abrams    40 pp.9/23    9781419760136    $18.99e-book ed.  9781647006044    $15.54Ramón and his not-so-mythical friend El Cucuy are back for “Nochebuena, the final day of Las Posadas.” With an eye-catching backdrop of cut paper–inspired digital illustrations, Ramón explains the Navidad...

Review of Esperanza Caramelo, the Star of Nochebuena

Esperanza Caramelo, the Star of Nochebuena by Karla Arenas Valenti; illus. by Elisa ChavarriPreschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp.9/23    9780593488676    $18.99Library ed.  9780593488683    $21.99e-book ed.  9780593488690    $10.99Spanish ed.  9780593705018    $18.99It’s Nochebuena eve in the pastelería, “a night when wonder reigns, for those who believe in magic.” In Nutcracker-like fashion, Esperanza, a...

Review of Dreams of Green: A Three Kings’ Day Story

Dreams of Green: A Three Kings’ Day Story by Mariel Jungkunz; illus. by Mónica Paola RodríguezPrimary    Astra    32 pp.10/23    9781662620379    $18.99e-book ed.  9781662620386    $11.99Spanish ed.  9781662620393    $18.99Lucía is afraid the Three Kings won’t be able to find her in her new home: unlike Puerto Rico, Ohio in January has no...

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