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Fiction Evaluation Form

(Picture Books, Folklore, Modern Fantasy, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Multicultural Books)

Your Name: Aurora Quinonez Book Title: Dear Primo

Author: Duncan Tonatiuh Illustrator: Duncan Tonatiuh

Genre: Contempory Realistic Fiction Publisher/Year: Abrams Books/2010


STYLE and Language: Explain the language used – word choices, sentence length, dialogue, rhythm, rhyme.
Explain unexpected insights or interesting information the reader learns from the story. Give examples form
the book

The book is mostly English with a few Spanish words with illustrations on the page with the
words next to them so the ready knows the translations using the pictures. Sentences range
from short to medium length for the most part with a few long sentences. Dialogue is as if you
are reading a letter from one person to another. There no rhythm or rhyme but there is a
pattern. The cousin always writes a few words in Spanish in his letters to the other cousin.
Some unexpected insights the reader learns is Spanish words for things the cousin has in his
environment. An example of that would be perros, which means dogs, and nopal, which is

CHARACTER – Who is the main character? Explain the character’s personality traits. How can the reader
relate to the character, become involved in the story?
Who are the supporting characters? Give examples of both.

There are two main characters; the first one is Charlie who lives in an American city and
second is Carlitos who lives on a ranch in Mexico. Charlie is a student who plays basketball,
loves pizza and plays video games with friends. Carlitos is also a student who plays soccer,
loves quesadillas and plays different games with friends like trompo, canicas, and papalote.
The reader can relate to the characters because they do some of the same activities that both
these characters do after school and completing their homework. There is no supporting

1. PLOT: (Explains the major events in the story.) Summarize the plot

The major events in the story are that each of the cousins receive a letter from each other and
are excited to learn about each other’s lives. They first explain where they live, and then how
they get to school. Next, what sport they like to play and food they like to eat. Next, they state
what they do for fun after homework is done and how they cool off when it is hot outside.
They also state similar shows but different based on where they live. Finally they both decide
that it would be a good idea if there cousin would come visit them.
2. SETTING – Explain the place and time of the book.
THEME- What is the story’s theme or lesson?

Setting: Half the book takes place in an unknown city located in America and the other half in
an unknown town in Mexico
Theme: The theme to the story is that no matter where children are from that there are a lot of
similar things they like to do. Another thing is that those similar things are actually the
same thing but with a twist due to the environmental factors.

ILLUSTRATION –Analyze the illustrations in the book (see Chapter 4) with the categories below: Choose a 2-
page spread in the book to answer the following:
What Style (realism, surrealism, expressionism, impressionism, naïve, cartoon art)? Realism

Media (paints, oils watercolors, pencil, pen, charcoal, crayons, acrylic, chalk) : pencil, digital collage

Visual elements:
Line: straight
lines to create the buildings, curved lines to show the angle of the bridge, Vertical
lines used for the buildings and post holding the bridge all are designed with thin lines on the
right side of the page with an outline of the window with angled curtains. On the left page is a
drawer with vertical and horizontal lines with curved lines to represent the top. On the drawer
is a curved fishbowl with a fish drawn with angular lines. To the right is Charlie, which is
drawn using a mixture of curved, vertical, and horizontal lines. Charlie is sitting on a chair and
desk, which have vertical and horizontal lines.

Shapes:rectangles to create buildings, the windows are squares and are simple shapes. Complex
curved shapes are used to create the bridge and furniture inside the residence. Angular shapes
are used to create Charlie.
Hue: Color, Neutral(tan brown), Cool (blue, green)
Value: Lightness inside the residence makes the city look darker
Saturation: the sky is dark with a few stars but the city is bright from the windows.
Achromatic: shades of brown, shades of blue

Texture: smooth, rough, wet

Explain how illustration and text are combined to tell the story. What do illustrations show that text does not

The illustrations and text combine to tell the story by showing the reader what the cousin is
writing about in the letters to one another. The text states that the buildings are so tall they
tickle the clouds however there are no clouds in the illustrations. The illustration does show
that the city lights look just as bright, if not brighter then the stars in the sky.

Describe the Page design: the borders, use of white/dark space, text placement & size, font, placement of illustrations:
The page is setup to show the text on the left page and uses the top half of the page. The text is
smaller than other children’s books however; it has nicely spaced to be able to read. The
background of the apartment is a light tan color, which makes every other thing pop out. The
character is on the bottom left who is facing to the right page. On the right side is a window,
which takes up two thirds of the page with a curtain on each side. Through the window, you
can see a bridge with an apartment buildings from left to right. Behind the apartments are two
square buildings with a dome and in the middle of those two is a rectangle building. All the
buildings have multiple windows, all which are lighted up from within.

3. CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORIES – CHOOSE 2 of theories below and evaluate the book according to the
developmental theories. (How the book fits the developmental stage and age?)

Name the stage Preoperational and the age 2 to 7 years

Explain the cognitive development from the stage: Rapid conceptual development

Give examples from the book show how the book fits the cognitive stage:
Both cousins are sharing good/bad things that happen in their lives to each other. One cousin is
shown riding his bike past two dogs that look like they are chasing him. One cousin is shown
eating their favorite food everyday after school.


Name the stage __________________________________ and the age_____________________

Explain the social development for this stage:

Give examples from the book that support the social development of this stage:

Identify the Age 1-2 Years
Explain the emotional development at this age: Expanding talking vocabulary for feelings and
begin to evaluate behavior based on pride, shame, guilt

Give examples from the book to illustrate the emotional development of this age: In the book,
the cousin in Mexico uses Spanish words, which would expand the children’s vocabulary. He
uses words like rio, caballos and reatas, which makes him happy to see given he, is smiling in
the illustrations. Children also see that the cousin in Mexico does not feel ashamed for what
the other cousin has and he does not. An example of that would be that he rides his bike to
school unlike his American cousin who rides the subway. The student can see that cousins are
proud to tell the other cousin about their life style.

4. Overall Rating of the book (3 highest - 1 lowest) 3

Comments: (Support your overall rating)
I would rate this book a 3 because the story is original and has some truth to it. I found the
illustrations funny but interesting because they give a resemblance of Mayan style of artwork.
I also like that the book introduced easy Spanish words with illustrations showing what each
word was.

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