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Off We Go to Mexico! An Adventure in the Sun Review by Andrea Jones

Laurie Krebs and Christopher Corr
Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

What can you do in Mexico? According to Off We Go to Mexico! An Adventure in the Sun, you can swim in turquoise seas, admire gray whales and monarch butterflies, sing and dance to the music of mariachi bands, and trek to native villages. This colorful rhyming picture book will take you on an adventure through Mexico while you also learn simple Spanish words and fun facts about life there. Each double-page spread takes you to a different location brimming with the simple shapes and colorful landscapes created by Christopher Corr's gouache illustrations. At the bottom of each spread are English words followed by their Spanish equivalent. Unfortunately, there is no pronunciation guide, so your learning of the language may be limited by your own understanding or access to help. On the opposite page, an informative rhyme helps to cement fun facts about Mexican life. For example, "We hurry to a festival held in the village square. There's food to eat and friends to meet and laughter everywhere." A simple map is included with major cities, bodies of water, geographic landforms, and famous landmarks. Additional facts are given about Mexico, its festivals, and its history. The history is nicely done by historical period with brief explanations--just enough to give a young student a working knowledge of Mexico's past. The last page lists common Spanish phrases but, again, with no pronunciation help.

This book would make a great addition to your study of Mexico. It is informative and effective in taking you on an adventure. You may want to find some real pictures of Mexican life and help with the Spanish language to supplement this book. But Off We Go to Mexico! will provide the inspiration for your adventure. This would best be used with elementary children, but all ages can benefit from the simple text and additional information. Children won't even realize how much they are learning through this fun book.

Product review by Andrea Jones, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2008.