Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Look How Lovely!: ¡Mira qué lindo! is a bilingual (Spanish and English) children's book written and illustrated by Marti Skarupa. It chronicles a nature outing of a young boy with his grandparents. They walk through forests, fields and grassy lands, and see butterflies and bees and birds. The grandparents exclaim their delight at all the beauties of nature and share their pleasure with their grandchild. Even the drops of rain that fall are things to be treasured and sometimes are even followed by a rainbow. The story is told in both English and Spanish, with separate pages and full-color illustrations for each translation, allowing readers to doubly enjoy the story.
Wow! I love this book. I had a huge smile on my face as I read Marti Skarupa's bilingual children's book, Look How Lovely!: ¡Mira qué lindo! It is an enchanting book with prose that somehow manages to have a musical, lyrical quality in both languages, and illustrations that are stunning. This book is a magnificent effort that reveals the author's love of nature and appreciation for the grandparents who showed her how lovely life and nature is. Skarupa goes the extra yard and gives the reader two illustrations for each page of text, one for each language version. It makes for a rich and full experience, and is one of the most enjoyable bilingual reading experiences I've come across. You don't have to be a little kid to love this book, but if you do know any kids, you'll probably want to read this aloud with them. Look How Lovely!: ¡Mira qué lindo! is a marvelous children's book that blends nature with language, and it works very well indeed.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Brooke-Stewart for
Marti Skarupa has produced a little gem with her children’s book Look How Lovely!: ¡Mira qué lindo! Remembering how I would read from illustrated books to my small children drew me to this book, and I was not disappointed. The book simply follows a grandfather and grandmother taking their small grandson on a late day walk. It begins in the afternoon as they walk through a grassy meadow with some huge old trees. The boy, being unable to extend his arms around the tree, is enchanted with their girth. The antics of a squirrel and the beauty of a blue sky are shared. A brief shower does nothing to dampen the boy’s pleasure, while the rainbow that follows becomes another source of wonder. And so the walk progresses as they meet birds and insects and flowers, and it continues on into the sunset and the early stars of evening. All of these experiences are so simply and charmingly described that a young reader, or a child to whom the book is being read, will readily understand them.
Each experience includes a quote from the grandparents challenging the boy to see how lovely each of those experiences is. The colored illustrations are simple and graceful. The expressions on the little boy’s face describe his feelings beautifully. My favorite is the very last entry as grandparents and grandson sit on their porch and look back on the day. I will share the text for just that one experience to illustrate the author’s approach.
“Up the porch steps they climbed together. And on the porch swing the boy sat happily between his grandparents. Soon night fell. The grandmother looked at the sky and in a hushed voice said:
‘Look how lovely the stars are!
Diamonds in the sky,
They wink us a good night.’
The boy looked and winked back at the stars.”
An added bonus is that the book is bilingual. Each experience is written in Spanish and English, each with its own illustration. The book is an excellent tool for a child who is seeking to master both languages. This is a delightful little book that is strongly recommended.
Have you ever stared up at the clouds and imagined them to be different shapes or looked at the beautiful night sky with all its twinkling stars? The beauty of nature and the innocence of our youth will always be refreshing gifts of life. Come travel with a boy and his grandparents on their day trip, discovering the beauties of nature and enjoying each other's company on a long walk together.
Look How Lovely!: ¡Mira qué lindo! A Bilingual Book written by Marti Skarupa is a delightful and charming children's book which introduces readers to the purity and beauty of nature as well as two languages, English and Spanish. Author Marti Skarupa skillfully writes a humble and heartwarming story concentrating on the simple things in life. By describing what the boy and his grandparents see on their walk, and then also using an analogy with each description, the author enables the story to be easily comprehended and exciting for readers young and old.
Using both the English and Spanish language allows for this book to not only be fun and creative, but highly educational and intriguing for young readers, as they are like sponges and will retain and absorb the information easily. Children are curious by nature. Upon reading this book or having it read to them, they are likely to turn it into an interactive activity. They may very well want to see what they can find on a walk in nature with their grandparents, parents, friends, siblings, or guardians, thus making this book a valuable treasure. Therefore with its creative drawings, unique story plot, educational and intriguing language, and interactive nature, this book is sure to touch the hearts and minds of many readers.