The Fiesta Dress by Caren McNelly McCormack

Review by Ali Larson9780545561709_mres

It’s finally the big day… it’s Lola’s big sister’s quinceañera! This means everyone is preparing for the big celebration. Tias (aunts) are cooking, tios (uncles) are decorating, damas (ladies) are dressing Eva in her beautiful gown, primos (cousins) are keeping busy playing video games, and even the perro (dog) is busy! Everyone is so busy preparing for the quinceañera that they don’t have time to give any attention to Lolo! She feels ignored and alone. When you are the baby of the family, everyone is supposed to notice you!

But when the perro snatches Eva’s sash and races away, it is Lolo who saves the day. So who’s more important now?

Aviles’s beautiful acrylics and liquid water colors show us how a quinceañera would look, sound and taste. Friends and family are dancing, munching on tamales, and celebrating the fiesta with lights strung throughout the backyard. McCormack narrates the story through a young Latina girl. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the book, making it a perfect read aloud or independent reading for ages 5-9. If you’re hungry for more, check out a well-defined glossary at the end of the book.

The Fiesta Dress
by Caren McNelly McCormack
Scholastic, 2009
40 pages

Ali Larson, elementary ELL teacher, aspiring author, and a graduate student of Second Language Education.

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