Written as a companion to Mud Tacos! (2009), Lopez’s latest picture book follows a young, mopey Mario as he spends a day babysitting his baby cousin Gia. Initially, he is dejected that he must play with her instead of spending time with his sister or other cousins. But by the end of the afternoon, he bonds with the baby over family stories and is treated to a surprise birthday party for both he and his cousin. While the didactic storyline written in a stilted style will not appeal to most children, those young children who have baby siblings or relatives may appreciate Mario’s dilemma. Roos’ bright illustrations depict the close familial bonds in this Latino family but exude a somewhat synthetic quality. Additional Selection.
Mario and Baby Gia. Mario Lopez. Illus. by Maryn Roos. New York: Celebra Children's Books/Penguin Group, 2012. Unpaged. $17.99 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-0-451-234179. Grades K-2. English.