Rica Baptista: A Week of Shenanigans

 
4.4 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
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Rica Baptista: A Week of Shenanigans
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
6+
Release Date
April 30, 2024
ISBN
978-1536227666
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Rica can’t wait for Adventure Week with her grandfather! But when Grampy arrives with a sprained ankle, can they make their own fun at home instead?

Rica Baptista is living the good life. Grampy, the best Grampy of all Grampies, is coming to visit, and Adventure Week, the best week of all weeks, is finally here. Rica doesn’t yet know if they will bounce on trampolines, go horseback riding, or even tour Fenway Park and watch the Red Sox play, but she knows they will have the best time ever. When Grampy hobbles into the house on crutches, however, Rica worries that this year’s Adventure Week will be adventure-less. So she pulls out all the stops with the help of her best friend, Laini (who surely has eaten enough cachupa to be at least part Cape Verdean like Rica), from organizing a family talent show to secretly planning a whole day of playing cards and eating candy. Will it be enough to keep this year’s Adventure Week from being a total flop? A sweet story of making memories during an unexpected stay-venture, sprinkled with funny and cute family moments.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
charming chapter book
Overall rating
 
4.8
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
RICA BAPTISTA: A WEEK OF SHENANIGANS is a cute chapter book about family and fun. Rica and her BFF Laini are so excited to see Rica's Grampy. Every summer he comes for a week of fun, taking them to exciting places and doing lots of cool things with them. However, this summer, Grampy has sprained his ankle, and he won't be able to do all the things they have planned. Luckily, this doesn't mean that they can't have fun, and although the summer did not look the way they expected it to, they still had a great time anyway.

What I loved: This is a cute story about handling the unexpected, dealing with disappointment, and having fun. Themes of family and friendship were also really strong throughout the story. This will work best for slightly older chapter book readers, as the chapters feel a bit longer with smaller font sizes and typically only one illustration per chapter. The language is fairly simple with many smaller words and repeated phrases that will work well for independent readers who are gaining confidence in longer stories. The images were fantastic and brought to life the scenes they depicted in black-and-white.

Final verdict: RICA BAPTISTA: A WEEK OF SHENANIGANS is a sweet chapter book about family and finding creative ways to have fun. The book combines great illustrations with a charming story that will work well for independent readers who are gaining confidence with chapter books.
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Plans Often Change
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
As adults, we know how to pivot when plans change, but this is an important skill for young readers to learn. Seeing Rica be grateful (in her prayer journal entries) for situations beyond her control is good modeling of this behavior, and the story points out that even though some activities might not seem fun, they are when you are with the people you love. I appreciated that Grampy let the girls have a candy day, but that they all thought better of it!

There are just enough illustrations to add interest to this story, which is a good length for early elementary school students. There are lots of subtle messages in how the events unfold. Rica's mother is always giving good advice that Rica doesn't always want to follow; I even learned why you have to preheat pans! When Rica is grumpy, she is able to talk about her feelings with Laini, and even slightly grumpy neighbor Fermino offers good advice about not letting Aubrey's rolling of her eyes control how Rica feels about her day.

There are so many good early chapter books with a wide range of culturally connected characters. Rica and her family are Cape Verdean, and Laini's family is Irish. The girls would strike up a nice game of hopscotch at the playground with Manushkins' Katie Woo, English's Nikki and Deja, Barnes' Ruby, Medina's Juana and Lucas, or Lee's Mindy Kim. It would be fun to see some of their grandparents hanging out on the park benches as well!
Good Points
Rica is always so excited when her Grampy spends his one week of vacation with her and her family, because they have aweome Adventure Weeks. They go to the beach, museums, parks, and do all kinds of activities. When Grampy shows up on crutches and his ankle bandaged, he tells her a story about a tornado hitting his house. This was quite the case; Grampy twisted his ankle while helping clean up in another town. He can't drive, and Rica and her best friend Laini have to rethink their expectations. They don't want Grampy to feel any worse than he is already feeling, so they come up with new ideas. The first is for a Cartoons, Cards, and Candy day, but because Rica's mother is a nutritionist, there's not candy in the house. The girls ask Serenity, Rica's older cousin, to drive them to the store, and have to resort to serious subterfuge that requires a hat, coat, and giant tote bag for Laini to wear. She goes into the store with Grampy's money and stocks up on candy while Rica distracts Serenity's attention by asking about nail polish. The day goes off well, but the three all feel ill enough to be grateful for quinoa and kale! They also plan a talent show and invite Rica's younger twin cousins, and even her nemesis, Aubrey. They tell knock knock jokes, and even plan a playground escape, although this is cut short when her father objects to Grampy being wheeled outside in a desk chair. In the end, Rica, Laini, and Grampy are able to enjoy being together, even if their initial plans were scuttled.

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