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Cuckoo/Cucú: A Mexican Folktale / Un cuento…

Cuckoo/Cucú: A Mexican Folktale / Un cuento folklórico mexicano

by Lois Ehlert

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Cuckoo is a great modern fantasy picture book. One feature of the book that I really enjoy is the text, because it’s written in both English and Spanish. On each page, even the front end pages, there is English text alongside the Spanish. Another thing that I really like about this book is the unique illustration style. The animals are all done in a paper puppet style, which is very interesting to look at and makes the book feel like a more authentic folk tale because you can imagine people using the puppets to tell the story. The big idea of this book is to not judge a book by its cover, or, “You can’t tell much about a bird by looking at its feathers.” ( )
  AlliyGaither | Oct 3, 2016 |
Cuckoo is a beautiful bird but is very lazy. A drastic fire rupture through the Cuckoo's land. Cuckoo is needing to help, but might lose some feathers along the way. ( )
  lindy_brooke | Mar 10, 2016 |
I liked this book because of the illustration and the message behind the story. The illustrations are super bright and are made out of different shapes put together. For example, on page six the dog is made out cylinders and held together by pins. I like the message of this story because it causally brings up judging people off their looks. All animals thought the cuckoo was useless because they just thought the bird was a useless pretty bird. The cuckoo ends up giving up his good looks to give the birds food. The main message of the story is not to judge people on looks but on their character.
  Rosalindd | Nov 9, 2015 |
This book was a lot like the rainbow fish at first. It was a good lesson about how people will like you at first for your good looks, but they will love you forever because of your hard work. It was a nice short read for a younger student. ( )
  dwall011 | Feb 25, 2013 |
This book is the story of a beautiful bird named Cuckoo. All of the other birds envy her beauty and singing voice. Cuckoo drives the other birds crazy with her laziness. She never does her share of the work until a field fire threatens the season's crop and Cuckoo is the only bird who can save it.
Personal Reaction:
I enjoyed this book and the outstanding illustrations. I believe young students would also enjoy the kooky pictures along with the story.
Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. I would use this book for a Spanish lesson in my class. I would read the book to the classroom then translate some of the prominent English words into Spanish on the board.

2. After reading this book to my class we would have a classroom fiesta. During our fiesta we would have a lesson over Mexican culture. ( )
  haygirl7 | Oct 27, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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For Eamon and his mom
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 015202428X, Paperback)

As all the birds agree at the end of this pretty bilingual picture book, "You can't tell much about a bird by looking at its feathers." ("No se puede juzgar a un pájaro por su plumaje.")

The bird in question is a cuckoo bird with a golden voice. She may start out behaving pretty badly, leaving others to do her share of the work, but she sure pulls through in a pinch. After all, what's a full-throated bird to do when the fields are burning? Rescue the seeds, of course, so there will be food next year. Though the other birds assume she's far too frivolous to be any use, that's just what Cuckoo does.

In this bilingual retelling of an old Mexican tale, Cuckoo [Cucu] not only saves the seeds, but also loses her voice in all the smoke and soot. When it finally returns, her lovely singing voice has become a raspy bark, able only to "cuckoo," not to sing.

Beautifully illustrated with bright backgrounds and contrasting cutouts and collages, the book tells its story in both English and Spanish on each page. No doubt we'll be seeing more of such volumes in the future, as publishers work to meet the demand for Spanish-language works. This particular story is a great introduction to the mysteries of multiple languages; the colorful energy of the book's art should keep kids wandering through its pages for a good long time.

[Recommended for kids 3-8; might be good first-year Spanish practice for older kids.]

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:34 -0400)

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A traditional Mayan tale which reveals how the cuckoo lost her beautiful feathers.

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