Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Small Readers: Sofia Martinez, Picture Perfect by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Kim Smith

A friend put me on to this series and I absolutely loved it! I've always been sad that I couldn't get any kids to get into Jules' Zapato Power series. I'm not sure why - the covers are a little bland maybe. But Sofia Martinez, oh I can booktalk this one!

Sofia is the youngest of the three Martinez sisters. Everyone says she and her sisters, Luisa and Elena look alike. But Sofia wants to look different! A family get-together gives her an idea and in her next school picture Sofia will definitely stand out of the crowd!

The pictures are colorful and attractive. Sofia is an enthusiastic, bouncy little girl whose personality shines through both the words and pictures. The art picks up the changing emotions of the simple story and gives the reader glimpses into Sofia's warm and busy family.

The text is intermediate, what I'd call a level 2 or 3 in my library, perfect for kindergarten up through 2nd grade. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text in bright pink. The meaning is easy to pick out from the context, but there's also a helpful glossary in the back. Several discussion questions are also included.

I've been looking for more realistic easy readers and Sofia's Latina identity is just the icing on top of the cupcake. Kids will empathize with her dilemma and giggle over her solution. The text is smoothly written and the Spanish integrated so that it won't disrupt the reading experience, whether or not kids know what the words mean. Sassy pictures and a depiction of a caring, happy family round out a very nice start to a new easy reader series.

Verdict: Picture Window only offers paperback or library binding, but the $15 price tag is quite reasonable and definitely worth it to add a little diversity and a fun new series to your easy reader section. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781479857738; Published 2015 by Picture Window/Capstone; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

1 comment:

Jacqueline Jules said...

Thanks so much for your kind words about Sofia. So glad you will be recommending Sofia's adventures to young readers.