Zulema and the witch owl = Zulema y la bruja lechuza
Zulema and the witch owl = Zulema y la bruja lechuza
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Annotation: Nine-year-old Zulema, the meanest girl in school, decides to change her wicked ways after receiving a visit from the witch owl.
Catalog Number: #4472742
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-558-85515-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-558-85515-1
Dewey: E
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
Kirkus Reviews
The disturbing use of scare tactics to reform a mean-spirited, nine-year-old bully lies at the heart of this bilingual English/Spanish story. One-dimensional Zulema is "the meanest little girl in the whole wide world," equally unleashing her wrath at children, adults, puppies and kittens. But she finds her comeuppance in her 90-year-old grandmother, who warns her of the Witch Owl that "always comes looking for mean little boys and girls" and takes them away. Undeterred, Zulema continues in her ways, but at night she investigates a tapping at her window and discovers the oversized, white-feathered body and creepy wide eyes of the Witch Owl, ready to take an instantly reformed Zulema away. With a suspicious white feather falling from her hair, Grandma intervenes to assure Zulema that it was just a bad dream. Lurid gouaches paint grotesque expressions, and the device of a vignette of the grandmother's face gradually transforming into the frightening bird adds to the disquieting theme. What might work well as an oral cautionary tale translates into a detrimentally moralistic book. (Picture book. 6-8)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4 Nine-year-old Zulema is about to lose her reputation for being the meanest girl in the whole wide world. From throwing rocks at people who did not buy her Girl Scout cookies to making dogs and kittens swing around until they spin like airplane propellers, she is a terror. Then a visit from her grandmother changes her behavior. Sabina advises her that if she does not mend her ways, the Witch Owl will take her away. Garza effectively portrays this threat in his artwork by bringing the characters closer and closer to readers faces. His whimsical illustrations create a feeling of being inside the scenes. As in his other books, his passion for heroes, wrestling, and creepy creatures is in evidence. The transformation of Sabina into the Big Owl helps create suspense. The end of the story remains open: an owl feather is falling from Grandmothers hair. Could she be the Witch Owl? This title offers suspense, fun, and surprise. Irania Macías Patterson,Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, NC
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Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (7/1/09)
Word Count: 1,134
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 131068 / grade: Lower Grades

Zulema Ortiz is the meanest little girl in the whole wide world. She doesn't have any friends, animals run away from her in fear, and her mom doesn't know what to do with her. But maybe, just maybe, her almost ninety-year-old Grandma Sabina does. When Grandma Sabina comes to live with the family, the first thing Zulema says to her is, You sure look old and ugly. Grandma Sabina calmly warns her rude granddaughter about the Witch Owl who prowls the night looking for mean little children, but Zulema just laughs defiantly at such a preposterous story. Nothing scares her because she's the meanest child in the world So when she gets into bed one night and something begins to tap at her window, Zulema isn't afraid at first. She's mad. Nobody plays tricks on me. Only I can play tricks But as the noise at her window continues, the insolent little girl begins to lose her bravado. And when a huge owl with glowing red eyes smashes through the window and swoops into her room, Zulema is ready to agee to its demands--even if it means promising to be nice In this exciting story about the consequences of being mean to others, Zulema learns something about herself and possibly her grandmother too. The imagination of children ages 4-9 will soar with this fun, suspenseful story by acclaimed author and artist Xavier Garza, whose knack for storytelling and creating lively illustrations captures the spirit of naughty Zulema.r

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