Kecko the Gecko/Kecko el gecko

Treasure Bay. Jun. 2022. 44p. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781601150493. BL.
Gr 2-4–Matt and his new crested gecko, Kecko, are sad because they do not want to be apart from each other on Matt’s first day of school. Matt has an idea—take Kecko to school hidden in his backpack. In Matt’s classroom, Kecko runs away, causing upheaval among the classmates and a baffled teacher. This bilingual English-Spanish early reader covers the familiar theme of a mischievous pet taken to a classroom. The English language text is laid out above its Spanish counterpart. The word-by-word Spanish translation provides a faithful transcription of the English narrative, with some bolded terms to introduce vocabulary in both languages. Still, it lacks the flow of the natural Spanish language. The “Junie B. Jones”-like artwork utilizes diverse characters with drawings that express the meaning of the text, helping young readers decode the plot of the story. This book is meant to be approached as a read-aloud story directing parents to read the lengthier text on the left-hand pages and signaled with a blue dot. Children may read the mostly two-line text on the right-hand pages signaled with a red star. This humorous early reader could be used in a bilingual English and Spanish story time or a school unit covering lizard species.
VERDICT A playful, easy read-aloud story ideal for emergent readers.

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