Why Latinos Have Very Long Names ... Sometimes

Review of "Rene Has Two Last Names/Rene tiene does apellidos", new bilingual book for children

By Mayra Calvani
Published on LatinoLA: December 5, 2009

Why Latinos Have Very Long Names ... Sometimes

Unlike in the United States and many other countries, people in Latin America have two last names--one from their mother's side and the other one from the father's side. Of course, this makes for very long last names sometimes.

In his delightful and beautifully illustrated bilingual picture book, Rene Has Two Names/Rene tiene does apellidos, award-winning author Rene Colato Lainez tells the story of himself when he was a little kid at school and was trying to explain to other kids why his two last names are equally important. In the beginning, of course, the American kids don't understand and compare his long name to an anaconda and a dinosaur. This makes Rene sad and worried, to the point where he begins having bad dreams at night. Then one day his teacher decides it's time for the children to make a family tree, giving Rene an opportunity to demonstrate to his friends why his two last names are so important.

Told in simple language in both English and Spanish, the story will transport the reader back to the time when the author was a little kid. The story teaches without preaching and flows perfectly until the end. This is a cute book that will show kids the meaning of having two last names. I loved the illustrations by Fabiola Graullera Ramirez. They bring the story to life and add a touch of humor.

Book Information:

ISBN 9781558855304
Category Picture Book
Published 31 Oct 2009
Bind Hardcover
Pages 32
Price $ 15.95
Age Group 4-8

About Mayra Calvani:
Mayra Calvani is an author and book reviewer.
Author's website

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