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Juana and Lucas: 01/15/18
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina is an early reader inspired by the author's childhood in Bogotá. She begins by outlining the things she likes and doesn't like and what her life at home and school is like. Then she settles into how she had to learn English in school and how difficult and frustrating it was and how stupid a class it seemed at the time.
Her outlook on English changes as all the important people in her life see it as an essential life skill and something she is lucky to be learning. That doesn't make the process any easier. It is a weird language.
The book design is a blend of a traditional early reader and a graphic novel. The way the text and the illustrations blend together reminds me a school life manga or anime. Medina is an illustrator and an art instructor, so this book plays to her strengths. It's a wonderful example of write and draw what you know.
I wish there were more books featuring Juana and Lucas.