Cover image for Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! / Pat Mora & Libby Martinez ; pictures by Amelia Lau Carling.
Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! / Pat Mora & Libby Martinez ; pictures by Amelia Lau Carling.
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
Toronto, Ontario : Groundwood Books, 2018.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : 29 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Toronto; Berkeley: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2014.
"In this sweetly funny picture book, a tiny mouse, Chico Canta, saves his entire family from the clever kitten, Little Gato-Gato, when he uses his quick wits and ability to speak another language."-- Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
MOR Paperback Easy Paperbacks
MOR Paperback Easy Paperbacks
MOR Paperback Easy Paperbacks

On Order



In this sweetly funny picture book, a tiny mouse, Chico Canta, saves his entire family from the clever kitten, Little Gato-Gato, when he uses his quick wits and ability to speak another language.

Chico Canta, the youngest of twelve, is a tiny, mischievous, fearless mouse who lives with his family in an old theater. They love to go upstairs to see the plays and echo the audience shouting, "Bravo, bravo!" as the curtain falls.

Mrs. Canta has her hands full trying to keep track of all her children, especially Chico Canta. She is always telling them, "Hurry! Hurry! ¡Pronto! ¡Pronto!" She speaks many languages, and she encourages her children to develop their own language skills. "Bilingual, bravo!" she is always telling them.

One evening, after a wonderful performance of The Three Little Pigs, the mouse family narrowly escapes Little Gato-Gato. Undaunted and inspired by the production, they decide to mount their own version of the play. A frenzy of sewing costumes and building sets ensues under the direction of Mr. Canta, while Mrs. Canta oversees the cricket musicians, the spider stage crew, and the moths who will be the ushers. But on the night of the play itself, it is tiny Chico who is the star of the show when he spots Little Gato-Gato in the shadows, and uses his own special gift for languages to avert disaster.

Amelia Lau Carling's charming illustrations show the pleasures, fears, antics and glories of Chico Canta and his family, all against the backdrop of the elegant old theater.

A note from author Pat Mora describes how she and her daughter Libby were inspired to write this story together after she read the kernel of this bilingual joke in a book of Mexican American folktales.

Author Notes

Pat Mora is a bilingual author with a special focus on children's literature. Among her awards are Honorary Doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, Honorary Membership in the American Library Association, Life-Time Membership in USBBY, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas at El Paso. She was a recipient and judge of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.

Her children's books include: Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube. With her daughter, Libby Martinez, Pat also recently wrote I Pledge Allegiance and Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!. A literacy advocate, Pat founded Children's Day, Book Day, El día de los niños, El día de los libros often known as Día. The year-long commitment promotes creatively linking all children and families to books, and establishing annual April Children's Day, Book Day celebrations across the country. April 2016 will be Día's 20th Anniversary. Pat's Book Fiesta captures the Día spirit.

A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular national speaker who promotes creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chico Canta, the youngest of 12 mouse siblings, saves the day thanks to his ability to "speak" Dog, proving just how important being multilingual can be. The father-daughter team of Mora and Martinez adapt their story from a Mexican folktale, and Carling's mixed-media paintings create a cozy Latin American environment for Chico's family, which lives and performs in an old theater. Despite threats from Little Gato-Gato the cat and Chico's overall distractibility, the Cantas' performances go off without a hitch. Spanish and Italian words are scattered throughout, giving readers a chance to pick up new words themselves. Ages 4-7. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A mouse family living in an old theater decides to put on its own show. The youngest mouse finds a clever way to use both audience participation and bilingualism (of sorts) to frighten off a predatory cat mid-performance. Inspired by a Mexican American folktale, the story has a deliciously slow build. The illustrations are a bit awkwardly rendered. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



"Tiny Chico Canta was never where he should be -- at the end of the line. Sometimes he was sleeping in his little bed. Sometimes he had crawled into the cookie jar. Sometimes he was hanging from the lampshade. 'Chiiiiiiicoooooo,' sang Mrs. Canta as everyone scurried through the house . . ." -- from the book Excerpted from Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! by Pat Mora, Libby Martinez All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.