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Groundwood Books

Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!

Written by Pat Mora • Written by Libby Martinez • Illustrated by Amelia Lau Carling • Translated by Elena Iribarren

For students in grades P - 2 | Published March 01, 2019 | ISBN 9781773062198
JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories

Cover of Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!

Regular price $9.95 CAD

32 pages | 10.875 in × 8.75 in
Print Format

About this book

Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!

Pat Mora • Libby Martinez • Amelia Lau Carling • Elena Iribarren

In this sweetly funny picture book, a tiny mouse, Chico Canta, saves his entire family from the clever kitten, Little Gato-Gato, when he uses his quick wits and ability to speak another language.

Mrs. Canta lives with her family in an old theatre, and she has her hands full trying to keep track of her twelve children—especially Chico Canta, the youngest, tiniest, and most mischievous of the mice. She is always telling them, “Hurry! Hurry! ¡Pronto! ¡Pronto!” She speaks many languages, and she encourages her children to learn more, too. “Bilingual, bravo!”

One evening, after a wonderful performance of The Three Little Pigs, the mouse family narrowly escapes Little Gato-Gato. Undaunted and inspired by the production, they decide to mount their own version of the play. A frenzy of sewing costumes and building sets ensues under the direction of Mr. Canta, while Mrs. Canta oversees the cricket musicians, the spider stage crew, and the moths who will be the ushers. But on the night of the play itself, it is tiny Chico who is the star of the show when he spots Little Gato-Gato in the shadows, and uses his own special gift for languages to avert disaster.

Amelia Lau Carling’s charming illustrations show the pleasures, fears, antics and glories of Chico Canta and his family, all against the backdrop of the elegant old theater. A note from author Pat Mora describes how she and her daughter Libby were inspired to write this story together after she read the kernel of this bilingual joke in a book of Mexican American folktales.

Key Text Features
author’s note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

About the Creators

Pat Mora

Pat Mora is an award-winning author, the founder of Día (El día de los niños, El día de los libros / Children’s Day, Book Day), and an honorary member of the American Library Association. Her book Abuelos, illustrated by Amelia Lau Carling, won the International Latino Book Award for Best English Picture Book, a Library Media Connection Editor’s Choice Award, and it was named a Críticas Magazine Best Children’s Book. Pat is also the author of The Race of Toad and Deer (La carrera del sapo y el venado) and The Night the Moon Fell (La noche que se cayó la luna), both illustrated by Domi. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Visit

Libby Martinez

Libby Martinez is an award-winning Latina children’s book author and poet. She is the co-author, with Pat Mora, of I Pledge Allegiance, which was recognized as Best Children’s Picture Book by the Texas Institute of Letters and the International Latino Book Awards. Libby is also the co-author of Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!, which was a Junior Library Guild Selection (Spanish edition) and appeared on National Public Radio’s Diverse Summer Reading List for Kids. Libby is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Stanford Law School. She lives in Colorado Springs.

Amelia Lau Carling

Amelia Lau Carling was born and brought up in Guatemala. Her parents’ store sold the thread used by many Maya weavers in their extraordinary work. She was, therefore, in constant contact with Maya culture and creators from an early age. She is the author-illustrator of the celebrated books Alfombras de Aserrín(Sawdust Carpets) and La tienda de Mamá y Papá (Mama and Papa Have a Store) — winner of the Américas Award and the Pura Belpré Award for Illustration— and the illustrator of numerous other books. Though she now lives in the United States, she returns to Guatemala frequently.

Elena Iribarren

Awards and Praise

“Food for thought for monolingual mouselings — not to mention their parents and teachers.” Kirkus Reviews

“Carling’s mixed-media paintings create a cozy Latin American environment for Chico’s family.” Publishers Weekly

“Based on a Mexican American folktale, this entertaining cat-and-mouse story features Little Chico … who saves the day by using his ‘bilingual’ talent.” Booklist

“This is a story that reflects the experiences of children across the world growing up speaking a number of different languages, and the authors create a little character with whom readers can relate.” CM Magazine

“This story is a celebration of diversity that invites audience participation and has great potential as a readers’ theater piece for the younger set. Recommended.” Library Media Connections

Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!