Friday, May 31, 2013

Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turtle

Rosita Valdez has always had a vivid imagination. Her mind has a tendency to wander to far-off places when she’s supposed to be doing other things like listening to her parents or working on her homework. Rosita has also been raised to tell the truth. So, when she starts telling her family and friends about riding a giant sea turtle in the cove, no one believes her.

Rosita loves to go to the cove to swim. She is not allowed to go by herself, and she is not supposed to swim by herself, but when she meets a giant sea turtle she breaks some rules by climbing on his back and swimming away from the cove. She tells her friends and her family that she has met this giant sea turtle who takes her on spectacular rides on the sea where she meets his family and goes on adventures. But, no one believes her as no one but she has seen the turtle. So, she gets in trouble for lying as well as for swimming by herself.

The author, Robin Densmore Fuson, has left the ending of Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turtle somewhat up in the air. At the end of the story Rosita has to acknowledge that she has been lying about the sea turtle and take her punishment for it. But, at the end of the book the author writes an Epilogue in which she addresses the reader and asks some questions. She writes: “Dear reader, what do you think? Is Toby a real turtle? Did he and Rosie have a great adventure, or does she just have a great imagination? You, my friend, get to decide the end of this story…” The author not only leaves it up to the reader to decide what’s real and what isn’t, she also leaves the very real impression that there will be at least one sequel to the story.

Black and white pencil sketches are scattered throughout the book in between all but the first two chapters. The illustrations relate to specific things that happened in the chapters prior to them.

What I Like: This is a good story for teaching children about telling the truth.

What I Dislike: There is very little conversation in the book, making the text more of a narrative than anything else. I think that drags down the action. Also, the author overuses the word “winked”.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: 6-12.

Publisher Info: WestBow Press, 2012; ISBN: 9781449764869; Paperback, 108 pages, $11.99.


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