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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
Ariela is a ten-year-old girl who is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She and her family moved to Canada when she was a baby. Every year, she visits her Auntie Tia who lives in Salvador during Carnaval time. She insisted on bringing Samba, her six-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog. Tia teaches dance, as well as Afro-Brazilian history and culture and other school subjects, to children. As Samba is used to a cooler climate, Ariela takes steps to keep him cool, such as putting a cooling vest on him. They have several adventures together; the most memorable experience is participating in a Carnaval parade. Both wore magnificent costumes with sparkles and feathers, and they danced to the samba rhythm on a large float. In the children’s book, Samba in Brazil, author Paul Yanuziello crafts a delightful tale.
An outstanding feature of this book is the inclusion of many cultural facts about Brazil. For example, a typical breakfast is described, many roosters and packs of wild dogs are in the city, and several Portuguese phrases are included. Additionally, Ariela has visions of the sacred spirits of nature when she sees the Carnaval costumes – an important aspect of this festival. The illustrations by Joshua Miller are beautiful and will captivate the imaginations of children and parents alike. Parents will find many opportunities to discuss cultural traditions while reading this story to young children. Samba in Brazil is the second book in the Samba the Dog series, written by Paul Yanuziello. A wonderful addition to any child’s library!