Thursday, June 22, 2023

Today's read... The Island Rescue by Minda Gomez

Today's read is the third in a series, and believe it or not, I have read one of the other books before diving into this one. The series is geared for stronger, chapter book readers and weaves in Spanish (bilingual) as well as animal facts, but there's also a gentle addition of some science fiction tech to the mix. I enjoyed the first book I read from this series and hope that this tale is just as good... if not better. Oh, and it just released a little over a week, it's almost a happy book birthday (but not quite).

It's time to head off to the islands!

Martinez Kids Adventures #3
by Minda Gomez
MoGo Multimedia
Chapter Book Science Fiction
131 pages
ages 6 to 10

"Doña Rosa needs our help." Rico straightened his feathered body and looked at them with round golden eyes. "I can do this." Eyeing the smoking hole in the ground, he hesitated, then jumped in.

Bicultural siblings Rico, Diego, and Araceli Martinez had hoped to enjoy their spring break exploring virtual reality. However, the fun abruptly ends when their inventor friend Don Toño begins work on a new adventure.

While he is out of town, his wife Doña Rosa has an accident and finds herself trapped in the mysterious shed. Unsure of the risks of entering an unfinished adventure, the kids bravely venture into virtual reality to track him down.

Arriving in the tropical Galápagos Islands, the kids discover that they are now animals, able to communicate with the local wildlife. Penguins, lava lizards, birds, and iguanas join them in searching for the one person - or animal - who can save Doña Rosa. If only they could fly over the island!

At the top of the volcano, a colony of giant tortoises awaits them. Will the mysterious Don Tortuga be able to help them save their beloved neighbor? Or will a technology glitch halt the mission in its tracks?

Readers young and old will be intrigued by this page-turning journey and colorful illustrations, and won't even realize they are learning Spanish at the same time!

Bonus Features:
- Spanish glossary and pronunciation guide
- Mexican birthday song
- Simple recipe for agua fresca
- Real-life animal facts
- Online family discussion guide

Complete your Martinez Kids Adventures collection with the other books in the series, available in English and Spanish:

The Secret Door / La puerta secreta
The Arctic Quest / La misión ártica

GOODREADS    /   B&N    /     AMAZON


The three siblings are in for quite the adventure with more than a few facts and surprises.

Rico, Diego and Araceli's adventures are put on pause as their neighbor heads off to South America on a research trip. When the neighbor's wife accidentally locks herself into the high-security shed, the siblings need to find the passcode, or she'll be stuck there for almost a week. Although the latest updates aren't done on their gear, the siblings grab their headsets and head to the Galapagos Islands in search of their neighbor. While taking the form of animals gives the siblings plenty of advantages, finding the neighbor won't be easy...especially since they have no idea what animal form he's using.

First off, this is an exciting adventure. There's plenty of tension, difficult situations, humorous moments, and lots of warmth and heart. The siblings are pretty down-to-earth and do their best to deal with the situations as they come. There's a little back-and-forth as they don't always agree on everything, and this makes them a natural and loveable bunch. They're easy to root for and fun to cheer on. The 'danger' is just right for the age group, making the tale gripping without going over-board.

Then, this is written in a bilingual direction. There are three pages of word explanations (a mini-dictionary) with the Spanish words used in the story and their English translations. This allows readers to expand their Spanish vocabulary, while seeing the words in use during the story. The Spanish is melted right into the English sentences (words just plopping in). Having a bilingual family myself, this made me smile. We toss in words from the other language (visa-versa) like that, too...a very natural habit. 

Lastly, there are animal facts surrounding life on the Galapagos Islands. These come across smoothly during the story, letting readers learn without noticing that it's happening. It covers a wide variety of animals, as well. Add the fun that these animals speak (a side-effect of the high-tech device, which adds the scifi touch), and it's a delight to meet them and their fun personalities.

And lastly-lastly (because this can't be forgotten), there are several helpful editions at the end: a quick summary with illustrations of each animal, the birthday song in Spanish, and an easy drink recipe for kids to make themselves.

Summed up, there's a lot of goodness in these pages. The text is a little longer and suits the medium to high end of chapter book readers nicely. The illustrations break things up well and add more fun to the mix. Plus, they help identify the animals. The tale does start a bit abrupt, and I would highly recommend reading this series as a series because of that. I am looking forward to what adventure this trio will have next.

And here she is...

Minda lives in Minnesota with her husband and three spunky bilingual kids. Their family has created their own brand of "Mexigringo" as they blend their Papi's Mexican culture with their Mami's Minnesotan culture.

Minda is a teacher of English Learners at a local elementary school. She has taught second grade in Mexico and volunteered in Guatemala, Peru, and other parts of Latin America.

Minda is passionate about teaching children to be proud of their bilingual superpowers. She is hopeful that her readers and her own kids will identify with the Martinez family, and remember that speaking more than one language is one of the many things that can make a kid special. (from Goodreads)

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