‘The Dog Who Loved Tortillas’: An English/Spanish picture book

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Rating: 4 1/2 stars

“The Dog Who Loved Tortillas/ La perrita que le encantaban las tortillas” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and illustrated by Geronimo García is a charming story about how a dog changes the relationship between a brother and sister.

The story begins by introducing Gabriela and Little Diego, her younger brother. They both see a dog, and they both decide that they really, really want a dog. When their parents refuse to allow both of them to have their own dog, they must decide on a dog together.

They visit the Humane Society (Sáenz gets brownie points for having them adopt!), and both want a white puppy with brown spots. While Gabriela picks out the dog, Diego is the one who comes up with the perfect name, Sofie.

While the siblings had promised to share the dog, each of them privately thinks, “my dog.” In spite of that, they join together to train Sofie. That gets much easier when they find that nothing motivates Sofie like one of their mother’s warm, homemade tortillas. Soon the whole neighborhood knows “the dog who loves tortillas.”

It’s when Sofie gets sick, very sick, that the Gabriela and Little Diego unite in their love for her. They both sleep by her side and they comfort each other. When she gets better, she becomes “our dog.”

This story is beautifully told. Like many bilingual books, it’s English and Spanish side-by-side with illustrations. For a unique look, Geronimo makes the pictures out of clay. This is a story children of all ages will enjoy.

Please note: This review is based on the soft cover copy of the book provided by the publisher, Cinco Puntos Press, for review purposes.