Review: Rosita and the Night of the Radishes

Posted on October 5, 2016



Rosita and the Night of the Radishes
By Dorothy Thurgood Manning
33 Loretta Kids’ Books
March 2016
60 pages

Rosita tends her family’s fruit and vegetable gardens in the hills of Oaxaca, Mexico, while her mama and papa sell their crops in the city. Her parents need to sell more fruits and vegetables and Rosita needs someone to help her with the gardening work. Rosita dreams of winning the radish carving contest at The Night of the Radishes celebration so her family can use the prize money to hire extra help. One day Rosita saves a bird from the jaws of her cat. The bird just so happens to be a talking bird who gives her three magic seeds that instantly grow into jumbo radishes for her to carve into three beautiful muchachas. At The Night of the Radishes celebration something miraculous happens to Rosita’s radish carvings. Manning’s enchanting fantasy about a gifted young girl introduces readers to this delightful yet little known Mexican tradition. The history of The Night of the Radishes contest and the Spanish glossary at the end make this book a valuable addition to multicultural and bilingual classroom studies. Manning’s radiant watercolor illustrations portray the vivacious Mexican culture. A bonus gallery containing 45 photos of elaborate radish carvings brings to life this unusual festival. Rosita and the Night of the Radishes weaves magical realism and culture into an engaging fable about the power of imagination.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Peggy Tibbetts

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