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Summary: Marco Flamingo is a bird with a craving for adventure. He is curious about what goes on under the sea, and won't let anything get in his way from finding out! He tries a snorkel and scuba gear and finally gets down to the bottom of things ... down to the bottom of the ocean, that is! From racing sharks to playing polo with seals, this bird has spunk. At the end of the day, when his scuba tank is out of air, he reclines on the back of a whale to bring him home.
This is a bilingual picture book with both English and Spanish text.
Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 3 to 8
Reading Level: 1.8
Age of Child: Read with two boys, ages 2 and 4.
Young Reader Reaction: My older son thought the book was fun and interesting. He liked picking out the different animals that he could recognize. This was a book they wanted to read again.
Adult Reader Reaction: This sort of story would appeal to my mother, but I did not like it. I don't think I took full advantage of the book as I did not attempt to read the Spanish words. If I were fluent in Spanish, I think this book would have had more appeal to me. Second, although this book is fun and is full of spunk and razzle-dazzle, loads of color and a brazen outing into the unknown, I prefer books with animals that are a bit more realistic. The biology was not depicted in a way which I felt my children learned anything about biology. The animals are cartoons, but are anthropomorphized into playing games. If I take my kids on an adventure "Under the Sea," I'd like them to come away with some sort of marine biology lesson. Crazy, fun, but a little wacky for my taste.
Pros: Fun, colorful illustrations will grab kids attention. Having a bilingual Spanish / English story makes it accessible to a broader, diverse audience. Kids will love the wacky unexpected events.
Cons: There are a few times in the book where the story jumps and is a bit confusing. The first page, for instance, says how Marco was excited to be back from his previous adventure, but doesn't say anything else about it. On the last page, he brings back a surprise for his friends: fish in fishbowls hanging from hot-air balloons. How is that possible?
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. There is not enough substance to hold the interest of kids over and over again.
Educational Themes: This is an adventure story to stretch kids imagination ... and potentially their vocabulary.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal stories, bilingual book, foreign language, Spanish, series book
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2012
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at amazon.com.