Hello Lovely readers! Welcome to Kid Lit Village; it’s Friday so time for another book review. I’ve been super excited about this book for a looooong time because Mariana Rios is one of my critique partners and I was lucky enough to be able to read and critique this before publication! I’m working on a dinosaur book too, so it was fun to read and Mariana’s story is super insightful as to what it must be like to be the new kid in the class when you don’t speak the same language as everyone else.
Ironically, I could have used this book last year because 60 percent of the students in my nature preschool class spoke a language other than English at home. A few of them were still learning English and couldn’t always make themselves understood easily. It was a challenge getting to know each other in those early days. But each one of those children learned so much over the year and truly became part of the class. We couldn’t have imagined the year without them.
Santiago has a dinosaur-sized problem. He just moved to the United States and he doesn’t speak the same language as his friends. He discovers that even when you don’t speak the same language, some interests are universal.
Santiago’s emotions about being the new kid and his love for dinosaurs come through from the first pages of the book and the colourful illustrations will capture children’s interest. The question is, how will Santiago make friends if he can’t communicate? The dinosaur references throughout are delightful and the endpapers are complete with pronunciation guides for different types of dinosaurs. Santiago makes friends based on common interests (dinosaurs) which feels totally authentic, the way young children actually make friends at school. This is a story that speaks children’s language; the language of play! It will be a great addition to classrooms across the country.
Congratulations to Mariana and Udayana on a beautiful book that will be enjoyed by many and will help support children going through some big changes in their lives. Click here to read my interview with Mariana.
Readers, thank you for stopping by Kid Lit Village this week!
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