The Arctic Quest
MoGo Multimedia (2022)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (10/2022)
“The Arctic Quest” written and illustrated by Minda Gomez is the second book in the Martinez Kids Adventures featuring, you guessed it—the Martinez kids—Rico, Diego, and Araceli! It’s a delightful romp full of new and exciting adventures that will appeal to kids of all ages.
It’s the holiday season and the Martinez family is leaving the winter wonderland of Minnesota to celebrate the season with their grandparents in Mexico. Initially, the kids aren’t very excited about going to a place that won’t involve a white Christmas, but before they leave, their neighbor, Don Tono, presents them with the gift of virtual reality with his latest invention. The gift comes with stipulations, however, and they must work together as they become animals of The Arctic to complete Don Tono’s challenge.
There is so much to discover in this story and I have nothing but kudos for Minda Gomez for this special treat. Through themes of teamwork, responsibility, patience and support for one another, the Martinez kids take readers on a unique adventure as they learn about two different locations and cultures over 2,500 miles apart. Gomez incorporates Spanish into the text organically through the characters so readers glean the meanings naturally over the course of the story. I had as much fun as the kids as they learned about the glorious animals of The Arctic and the traditions of their family in Mexico. I confess, I’m especially looking forward to making their Tita’s Atole de Avena (a hot oatmeal drink).
This story is bursting with intriguing elements. The illustrations are amazing! Down to earth, vibrant, and inviting, they encourage readers to explore their own fantasies, from what it must be like to live in The Arctic to the lively traditions and importance of family in a culture that may differ from their own experience. The colorful map in the book’s front displays the scope of the Martinez’s travels and there is also a comprehensive glossary of all the Spanish words featured in the story. The glossary includes the correct pronunciations and their English counterparts, and I found it extremely helpful to refer to it from time to time.
I cannot wait to share “The Arctic Quest” with my granddaughter. Those she’s a little young to grasp all the content, I know she will enjoy the illustrations of the different animals and learning Spanish as her parents are already teaching her. This book is best suited for early readers and up, though I have a feeling kids of all ages will devour this story. This big kid did. I highly recommend this amazing book and the entire series by Minda Gomez and can’t wait to see what adventures the Martinez kids have in store for readers next.
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