Written by Pat Mora, Illustrated by Doug Cushman

Clarion Books, 2006


Zigzagging through zebras and zebúes,

Zany keepers call, “Yoo-hoooooooooooo,”

The alphabet theme:  A dance party at a zoo, with some animals listed in English and some in Spanish

It's just not a party until the manatee band plays 'Cielito Lindo.'

It’s just not a party until the manatee band plays ‘Cielito Lindo.’

It seems fitting to end our (official) alphabet countdown with another book about animals.  This one sets itself apart by its Latin America setting and the fact that it incorporates Spanish words into the text.  Author Pat Mora specifically chose words that were similar in both languages, to help speakers of each language see how easy it could be to learn new words.  Ms. Mora founded “El día de los ninos/El día de los libros,” a celebration held annually (on April 30…so it’s coming up soon!) of children’s books, languages, and cultures.

In addition to the Spanish words, elements of Latin American culture are woven through the book.  The animals dance the conga, flamenco, samba and tango (among others) and feast on enchiladas and flan at their party.  A translation and pronunciation guide for all the Spanish words is included in the back of the book.

The X Factor:  And we end with yet another xylophone, but this time it’s in Spanish, so it’s xilófonos.   But Ms. Mora gets mad props for including zebus (and not just zebras) on her Z page.  Caramba!

Does this mean we’re done?  Well, the alphabet is done, but we still have two days left in April, so I’m throwing in two bonus books to fill out the rest of the month.  See you tomorrow!


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