The Best Mariachi In The World / El Mejor Mariachi Del Mundo


Everyone in Gustavo's family could play an instrument. He really wanted to be a mariachi like his brother, father, grandfather, and cousins. But no one would let him touch their instruments. Upset about being left out, Gustavo headed out to the desert. There, he could sing stories for the cacti. One morning, he woke the neighbors with his singing. Was he destined to be the worst mariachi?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Every child who has wanted to "belong" will enjoy this story about a boy who wants to be in a mariachi band. Colorful illustrations help make the story sing.

Content Awareness Factors:


Little Kid Reaction

Our daughter picked this out of a pile. At first she asked us to translate the Spanish text, but then she was caught up in looking at the pictures and listening to the story as it played out. After we were finished, she wanted to talk in Spanish and asked us about mariachi music.

Parent Reaction

What a sweet story. Gustavo is a wonderful character that kids can relate to, and the illustrator did a beautiful job capturing his feelings. As novice Spanish speakers, books that embed the language and use repetition to demonstrate context and vocabulary are easier for us to read. The illustrations are a wonderful complement to the story and while colorful, do not overwhelm the reader.

Type of Book:
This is a bilingual story with Spanish words embedded in English text.
Educational Themes:

In addition to building vocabulary, explore Spanish music, music history, and culture. There is a strong story here, too, and you can talk about feelings, respect (not touching other people's things), and individual talent.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
8 to 10
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 to 9
Age of child:
Started reading with girl nearly 7 years old.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is a sweet story that also happens to be a bilingual book. Kids will immediately relate to Gustavo and his big dreams.

Title The Best Mariachi In The World / El Mejor Mariachi Del Mundo
Author J.D. Smith
Publisher Raven Tree Press © 2008
Illustrators Dani Jones
ISBN 9780977090617
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.95
Genres Family, Cultures & Tradition, Music, Performing Arts, Foreign Language | Bilingual, Latin America | Latine People
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