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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Kiki Goes to Brazil: Little Polyglot Adventures, Book 4 is a picture book for children, grades K-3, written by Victor Dias de Oliveira Santos and illustrated by Eszter Miklos. Dylan and his little sister, Isabella, were thrilled to discover that Rio de Janeiro was sunny, warm, and altogether delightful. Of course, the family made a beeline for the beach right after checking into the hotel. Copacabana Beach is world-famous, and with good reason, as the excited children, Dylan’s pet chicken, Kiki, and their mom soon discovered. Visitors from all corners of the globe frolicked in the surf, strolled along the shore, and enjoyed the glorious summer weather. One man was busily sculpting an elaborate castle out of the sand. Not too far away, a group of children had a soccer game going. Mom suggested that Dylan and Isabella join the fun; she assured Dylan that she and their dad would watch Kiki. On the way, the kids passed a coconut water vendor who was asking a Japanese man and his daughter, Fumiko, if they would like a drink. The two siblings loved playing soccer on the beach, and Fumiko soon felt like a good friend. But when they returned hot and thirsty after playing, Dylan noticed that Kiki was nowhere to be seen. Where was she? What had happened to her? The family and Fumiko began to scour the beach, looking for her.
Kiki Goes to Brazil continues the Little Polyglot series, which follows the adventures of Dylan and his family. Each story stresses diversity, multilingualism, and the author’s goal of showing how we are all so powerfully connected by our humanity despite language, culture, and environmental differences. Like other books in the series, young readers are introduced to new languages firsthand and are given a QR code at the beginning of the book linking them to the correct pronunciation of each of the four new terms provided. While I was far from the target audience, I had a grand time reading Kiki Goes to Brazil. Eszter Miklos’ pen and ink illustrations make the family’s adventures in Brazil come to life. I especially enjoyed her drawings of Copacabana Beach and the surrounding natural beauty of Brazil. Her thumbnail drawings of famous tourist spots, such as the animal sanctuary, statue of Christ the Redeemer, and Sugar Loaf add dimension and depth to this book which educates as it entertains. Dylan and Isabella are enriched by their parents’ efforts to keep their native cultures and languages alive and pass them on to their children. The author’s message is a welcome one that celebrates multiculturalism, multilingualism, and diversity. Kiki Goes to Brazil is most highly recommended.