Southwest Children's Literature

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Carlos and the Skunk/Carlos y en zorrillo

Book Review:

Carlos and the Skunk tells the story of one of Romero-Stevens' familiar characters, Carlos. Carlos is growing up and wants to impress his long time friend, Gloria. He spends a lot of time in front of the mirror combing his hair "just right." Carlos also wants to show off for Gloria and one day while a familiar visitor, Dos Dedos (Two Toes), the skunk is walking through their garden, Carlos tells Gloria he can catch the skunk. Gloria warns Carlos to be careful but he tells her he's heard that if you grab a skunk by the tail, it won't have time to spray you. Carlos learns the hard way if what he has been told is true. He runs away embarrassed, but his wise and understanding parents help him. They don't tell him they know about his foolish experiment. The book is written in both English and in Spanish which makes this particularly valuable for bilingual readers as well as students learning English or Spanish. The illustrations by Jeanne Arnold are bright and colorful and have a folk art quality which lends itself to the authenticity of the story. Romero-Stevens also shares a recipe for fresh salsa at the end of her book.


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