Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina

Snapshot of the copy sent to me.

TitleJuana and Lucas
Author: Juana Medina
(Expected) Publishing Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rate: 2 of 5

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To start off my review, I just want to tell you guys that I am that kind of person that even though I’m already adult-ish I really enjoy children’s books. I find them light-hearted, innocent.  I find them a breath of fresh air every time. I like transporting myself back to the mindset of a 12-year old.
About the book, Juana and Lucas is a full-fledged children’s book. But, I thought that it’s the kind of book that would be set in the middle school. But I was wrong, it’s really a children’s children’s book. Haha. Maybe it can be a bedtime story? I don’t know. It is intended for six to eight years old.
My first thought upon looking at the cover and reading the title, I was expecting that it would be some sort of compilation of Juana and Lucas’ adventures or day-to-day activities. Juana is the girl, she’s a Colombian girl. Lucas is a dog. Well, Lucas is Juana’s dog. And Juana counts Lucas as her best friend. So with that, I actually thought that it would be compilation of their day-to-day activities, what they do, what they don’t do, what they like, what foods they like, what adventures they do, do they go to the library, do they play with other kids. So yeah, that’s what I was expecting. But opening the book, it was more Juana than Juana and Lucas. I felt that it could have been much better if the book has been named as Juana Learns English, Juana Speaks English, etc. (The main theme of the book was when Juana goes to school, the teacher says to them that it’s time to learn English. Well, the kid that she is it would be hard to learn something from scratch.) So yeah, that’s what I was thinking. It could’ve been a little less misleading if the title was straight-forward.
Second, I still enjoy something that’s illustrated—I can’t get enough of them. Because of that I find myself poring over illustrations. Juana and Lucas has very simplistic drawings that even children can enjoy. They’re beautiful.
Last point, the font. The font. Normally, I don’t have this problem with books because usually at most there would be three kinds of fonts used. But, in this book, I think the placing of the font was all over the place. Sometimes it fades out, sometimes it goes big, sometimes it gets swirly. I know they’re going for some sort of effects. I do get it, but I think they overdid it. I think it was too much. I think it could’ve been much better if it was, you know, normal. It’s kinda disorienting. I mean, for me, it wouldn’t be THAT disorienting, but what about the children who’ll read this? It would be so hard to follow the train of thought.
I rated this 2 of 5 because I understand that these kinds of books are not really made for the adult audience. So yeah, maybe on some levels I just didn’t appreciate the book too much. And sometimes I didn’t want to read it because it was really childish. Which I do understand because it IS a children’s book! This would be an excellent book for children! (Well duhh.)
The good thing about it is that it has specks of Spanish words. And it sort of makes you curious and want you to learn Spanish, too. Haha.
So yeah, this book is really for children. Not for just feeling child like me. Haha. I do hope that there would be some augmenting to be done in the title so it wouldn’t be too confusing to the reader.
All in all, the book is really light-hearted about a little girl’s perspective of her world. It’s really positive. But again, not for me.

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*Disclaimer: I received an advanced-reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for this review.


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