Reviews for Spicy Hot Colors / Colores Picantes


Booklist Reviews 2004 September #2
PreS-Gr. 1. Spicy indeed. This boldly designed book is a welcome treat after the more sedate books that introduce children to colors. The text, written in English with the colors identified in both English and Spanish, has a firm, rhythmic beat: "Yellow as gourds / spitter-sputter seeds / Yellow as cobs of corn / hip-hoppin' treat." However, it's the artwork, computer-enhanced paper collages, that dazzles. For example, the illustration for "Yellow/Amarillo" features a double-page spread of life-size gourds and corn on a platter set against a background of a freshly minted color somewhere between purple and brown. The art accompanying "White/Blanco" shows dancing Day-of-the-Dead skeletons cavorting against ebony pages. Decorating other spreads are red chili peppers and sauce and a giant green iguana that lolls across two pages. Occasionally other Spanish words are inserted into the text, all of which are defined in a glossary. A brilliant feast of color that will entice children as it helps them learn a few Spanish words. ((Reviewed September 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

----------------------
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
"Brown as bunuelos / a crispy crunchy sound / Brown as a guitar / Pluck! Pluck! / Gettin' low down." A jazzy text full of Hispanic imagery and energetic illustrations introduce the Spanish names of basic colors. The premise is slight, but the book works well as a read aloud. A list of vocabulary words and a pronunciation guide are appended. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

----------------------
Kirkus Reviews 2004 August #1
Despite its title, Shahan's latest is not really bilingual, but rather a poetic characterization of nine colors, introducing their Spanish names and employing similes rooted in Latin American culture. Using both exact and slant rhyme, Shahan's phrases encourage the reader/listener's participation by snapping, whacking, or tapping along, or even by acting out the similes-"Purple as pi-atas / Smack! Whack! / Spin on the ground," for example, or "Black as castanets / clickety-clickety / clack-clack." The inclusion of terms reflecting originally African-American musical forms-jazz, blues, hip-hop-reflects the racially diverse nature of "Hispanic" identity as well. Barragán's illustrations echo the exuberance of the verse and are in some ways reminiscent of the poured-paper stencils of Denise Fleming, though Barragán's work features sharper edges and a great deal of detail. Back matter includes a glossary of Spanish terms used in the verse and a pronunciation guide. Successful both as an introduction to Latin American culture for children unfamiliar with it and as a celebration for those who call it their own. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 November #3
Carrumba! This zingy color primer takes its inspiration from "the spicy hot colors [that] sizzle on a Saturday night" throughout Latin America. Shahan (Jazzy Alphabet) riffs on the many ways that color plays out, south of the border: "Green as Mexican iguanas/ Slither/ Slide/ Samba!/ Green as cilantro and cactus./ Wiggle/ Waggle/ Rumba!" Barrag n (Love to Mama), a native of Ecuador, turns this free association into dazzling posters rendered in collage-like layers of bold shapes and vibrantly contrasting tones. The highlighted color often makes clear a new vocabulary word, too, such as the swash of orange worn by a several silhouetted figures, known as a sarape ("colorful shawl or blanket"). A multi-horned iguana strides the "Green/Verde" spread; standing amid cactus prickles and cilantro leaves, he flicks his red tongue. A few pages later, a panoply of warm browns (pardo) work in tandem to convey a tray of pinwheeled, star-shaped buneulos (fried dough) alongside a guitarist strumming a serenade on a chocolate-colored guitar. A short glossary and pronunciation guide conclude this feast for eyes and ears. Ages 3-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

----------------------
School Library Journal Reviews 2004 November
PreS-Gr 2-Learning a foreign language has never been so much fun as in this bouncing introduction to the names of nine colors in Spanish. Snappy, image-filled verses bring to life some of the hues and traditions of Latino culture: "Red as chili sauce/Drip-drop/Spicy hot/Red as firecrackers/Snap! Bang!/Bebop Pop!/RED ROJO." Vibrant paintings that have both ethnic and fine-art references are appealing and attention grabbing. Some of the figures resemble Matisse's paper cutouts and a guitar player could possibly be an homage to Picasso. Helpful vocabulary and pronunciation pages define some of the more-challenging cultural references and Spanish words. Although in no way comprehensive, this is a joyful starting place for Spanish-language learners and for anyone wishing to familiarize children with some "colorful" cultural information.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

----------------------