I bought Roberto’s Trip to the Top because the authors are Katherine Paterson’s husband and son. And I’m happy that I did.
Roberto is a young boy living in Caracas, Venezuela. He is excited to ride up a cable car to the top of a mountain and hike around with his father. The story is told in English with Spanish words sprinkled on each page. An alert reader will understand the Spanish by the context, but there is also a glossary in back.
I like the way the authors present problems in the trip, letting them exist without facile solutions. Roberto’s disappointments are acknowledged, but he has to deal with them. It was refreshing to read about a hike along a risky path without guardrails. I think I like this book because its tone matches my parenting style.
Renalto Arlacao’s illustrations are vivid and engaging.
My only reservation is that I don’t know if the book will hold a child’s interest through multiple readings. It would be fun to quiz a primary child on the Spanish words. What does barrio mean? It is a good book for exposing children to other cultures and a few words of Spanish.
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