El Lechón Choncho: Otherwise known as Choncho the Pig – Review by Children’s Literature

Family history can make for some of the most delightful bedtime stories. Sisters Anna and Antonia Ortiz are too excited to sleep. In the morning, they will get on an airplane with their family to visit their Abuela on her farm in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico for the very first time. While their baby brother Miguel gets his diaper changed, the girls implore their Mami to recount the story of El Lechón Chencho, a dear friend from Mami’s childhood. Mami finally acquiesces, filling the girls’ minds with visions of Abuela’s farm in preparation for their upcoming trip.

Cheerful, digitally rendered illustrations set the stage for this delightful story. Using intentional color and design, readers are transported to a Puerto Rican farm surrounded by a verdant landscape and native flora. While most of the images utilize blocks of solid color, shading and occasional textures add depth to the pictures.

The excitement the girls feel in anticipation of visiting their Abuela is palpable in their demeanor as they jump unabashedly on their beds with their suitcases lying in wait on the floor nearby.

Each spread is divided, featuring a large image on one side with ample dialogue and narration on the other. Due to the quantity of text, this story is best suited to readers with longer attention spans, but its direct and action-focused presentation increases the book’s accessibility.

Spanish words are included frequently within the narrative and stand out in italics from the surrounding text. While there is no glossary included, these words are immediately translated into English as an innate element of the story. No matter a reader’s understanding of Spanish, this tale of a heroic, larger-than-life pig is an enjoyable addition to libraries for young children.

Grades 1-4

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