Everybody loves a birthday party, and there’s a lot to enjoy at Papá Luis’ fiesta! The children excitedly count the candy that will fill the piñata. The nieces bring the candles for the birthday cake that Mamá Marta baked. Family and friends begin to arrive, and soon, they surprise Papá Luis with his special celebration.
Told in lively verse, this cumulative tale builds from one page to the next as popular children’s book author Diane Gonzales Bertrand presents a charming look at a big family gathering that celebrates the patriarch’s birthday.
Like her previous award-winning book, The Empanadas that Abuela Made / Las empanadas que hacía la abuela, Diane Gonzales Bertrand gives emerging readers another book that creates confidence and skills through repetition and sentence building.
Accompanied by Alejandro Galindo’s whimsical illustrations of big-eyed children and elderly family members dancing and enjoying each other, this fun-filled fiesta is sure to delight children ages 4 – 8. After reading this appealing bilingual story, kids will eagerly begin planning their own birthday parties.
Winner, Texas Institute of Letters Austin Public Library Friends Foundation Award-Children’s Book
Named to the 2010-2011 Tejas Star Reading List
“A large cartoon family celebrates Papá Luis’s birthday in this lively bilingual book. Every page identifies a different color element of the gathering (“This is the candy that filled the piñata that hung at the party for Papá Luis”), and layers of them in the style of “There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.” Galindo’s exuberant caricatures endow each family member with a distinct personality: Mamá Marta, who makes an enormous layer cake, wears a white, Marge Simpson-like beehive, and three chic adult nieces bring a touch of glamour. Readers will be glad to join in, though the party ends a little suddenly, mid piñata swing.”—Publishers Weekly
“The author of The Last Doll (2000) offers here another bilingual (Spanish-English) picture book, modeled on “This is the House That Jack Built.” Papá Luis’ family is hard at work planning his birthday fiesta. Mamá Marta supervises the filling of the piñata, bakes a multilayer cake, and decorates it with sweets and candles. Family and friends surprise Papá with gifts, dancing, and a clown—who ends his performance by breaking the piñata. Galindo’s brightly colored mixed-media illustrations depict larger-than-life, Texas-style cartoon figures sporting oversized hairdos and facial features. His whimsical art includes many details of local color (including cowboy hats and Tex-Mex foods) and meshes nicely with Bertrand’s cumulative text. Pair with Simms Taback’s This Is the House That Jack Built (2002) to introduce children to the original verse.”—Booklist
“Told in verse, this story shows how a family celebrates Papá Luis’s very special birthday. It begins, “Ésta es la fiesta para Papá Luis.” Each page adds a new line to the story and a component of the party. From bringing out the piñata to the arrival of the guest of honor, each page describes everyone’s contribution to the festivities. The children are in charge of the candy, Mamá Marta bakes the cake and the nieces place the candles on it, and friends and family dance the day away. The humorous illustrations of clowns, conga lines, and empanadas, and the boldly colored exaggerated cartoons of the relatives perfectly depict the party atmosphere and the joy felt by this family. Children will leave this book dreaming of parties.”—School Library Journal
DIANE GONZALES BERTRAND is the author of numerous books for children. They include Cecilia and Miguel Are Best Friends / Cecilia y Miguel son mejores amigos (Piñata Books, 2014); Sofía and the Purple Dress / Sofía y el vestido morado (Piñata Books, 2012); Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas (Piñata Books, 2011); The Party for Papá Luis / La fiesta para Papá Luis (2010); We Are Cousins / Somos primos (2007); Ricardo’s Race / La carrera de Ricardo (2007); The Empanadas That Abuela Made / Las empanadas que hacía la abuela (2002); Uncle Chente’s Picnic / El picnic de Tío Chente, (2001); The Last Doll / La última muñeca (2001); Family, Familia (1999); and Sip, Slurp, Soup, Soup / Caldo, caldo, caldo (1997). A lifelong resident of San Antonio, Bertrand teaches at St. Mary’s University, where she is also Writer in Residence.
GABRIELA BAEZA VENTURA is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of Houston. She has translated numerous children’s books, including Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Arte Público Press, 2014), There’s a Name for this Feeling: Stories / Hay un nombre para lo que siento: Cuentos (2014), Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas (2011) and Remembering Grandma / Recordando a Abuela (2003).
Learn more by visiting her faculty page.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Books
ATOS English: 4
ATOS Spanish: 4.5
LEXILE SPANISH: 540L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 136540