Review Detail

A New Take on an Old Fave
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0
When I was a kid, I watched EL CHAVO DEL 8 religiously. Sonia Sander adapts the popular Mexican and Latin American television show into a bilingual picture book. Each page includes an illustration, as well as the Spanish and English translation of the text. It is a great idea for kids who are learning either language to be able to see the translation on the page.

The story of THE MAGIC book follows El Chavo as he finds a magical book at the library. However, something magical happens. Everyone in his neighborhood is transported into the world of the fairy tale book.

What I liked: When I was a kid, I always looked forward to seeing El Chavo, Quico, and Sr. Barriga on t.v. Seeing a new generation of children be able to pick up El Chavo, no matter where they come from, is a wonderful thing. There is a lot of humor in the magical realism of events that follow. Chavo has to be the hero of this story, and at the end, he has to be there for his friends.

What left me wanting: Perhaps it's because I've seen the original show, but there were some elements that are missing from these translations. El Chavo deals with a lot of poverty. The books don't encompass that. They also don't name the girl character: La Chilindrina. She's simply called a "friend."

Verdict: El Chavo-- The Magic Book is a humorous adaption of a popular t.v. show. The dual narration is a great teaching tool. A nice addition to a library.
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