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P Is for Piñata: A Mexican Alphabet Review by Charlsie Swadley

By Tony Johnston
Sleeping Bear Press
310 N. Main Street, Suite 300
Chelsea, MI 48118

P Is for Piñata: A Mexican Alphabet by Tony Johnston is a 38-page book that highlights Mexican culture, history, foods, people, and places. Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted with a rhyme or poem as well as beautiful illustrations. Each page also contains a bit of extra in-depth history in the sidebar.

This book was not made for homeschoolers, but it could easily be used in a homeschool setting and could be adapted to any homeschool method. While the book is intended for grades 2-4, I would consider it more suitable for older children because of some of the content, such as the day of the dead and references to Mexican gods. The vocabulary is also more advanced than most children in grades 2-4 grades would be accustomed to.

I really enjoyed the wonderful illustrations in this book; they were vibrant and detailed. I also liked the history that was added on each page, which set this book apart from most simple alphabet books.

Unfortunately, I did not end up sharing this book with my children after previewing it. There were several topics (Frida Kahlo, day of the dead, Mexican gods) that I did not feel they needed to be exposed to, so I decided not to add it to our homeschool. I do not recommend this book at all.

Product review by Charlsie Swadley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2009