Tortuga in Trouble

By . CD. 10:39 min. with hardcover book. Live Oak Media. 2013. ISBN 9781430114307. $29.95.
Gr K-2—Paul's fourth title (Holiday House, 2009) celebrating the antics of amigos Conejo (Rabbit), Culebra (Snake), Iguana, and Tortuga is a Southwestern adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood with a smattering of Spanish nouns throughout. In the audio presentation, Tortuga sets out for Abuela's (Grandmother's) house carrying a food-filled conejo (basket) on his back. His friends follow, hopeful of partaking in the ensalada, tamales, and flan. Tortuga encounters Coyote, who predictably lays a villainous plot to obtain the basket and a turtle dinner. Children will recognize where the tale is headed and quickly pick up on the use of familiar Red Riding Hood exchanges, albeit altered to include Spanish words. Illustrator Ethan Long's colorful Southwestern palette effectively sets the scene and his lively design techniques create vibrant, memorable characters. Narrators Brian and Rosi Amador segue into the story after carefully pronouncing both the Spanish words in the glossary and corresponding English translations. The Amadors seamlessly transition between English and Spanish, with flawless pronunciation in both languages. Each character's voice is unique and distinctive; for instance, Tortuga speaks in a ponderous, drawn-out manner. Fitting music and background sounds are heard throughout the tale and children will enjoy and enthusiastically join in making the rattles, bumps, and thumps that the amigos use to scare off Coyote and guarantee a happy ending. The multimedia presentation enhances this engaging adaptation and also facilitates correct Spanish pronunciation.—Rebecca R. James, Nashville Public Library, TN

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