…warms the heart.

I know, I know…..so long between posts. But stay with me folks, I’m gonna get better at this, I promise!
So, A Mango in The Hand. There are many, many, many, many reasons why I love this book. Let me share my top 3:

3 – I can practice reading Spanish so that in future contexts I can sound like I don’t need to practice (because yes, I did sit and reread it about 10 times to get the pronunciation just right).

2 – The premise of the story is just adorable.

1- It takes me back. Waaaaay back. Back into time…

Ok, not THAT far back. But far enough to remember being younger and learning many of the same lessons.

So before I get lost in my review, a little summary: Francisco wakes up on his Saint Day and decides that to conclude the celebration meal, he would like to have some juicy mangoes. He is guided by proverbs from his father and other family members as he makes multiple attempts to retrieve them from the tree. In the end, Francisco learns valuable lessons in patience, perseverance, and love.

Seriously, who wouldn’t love a book like that?

Every step of Francisco’s journey on his Saint Day gives way to an important lesson – and reading it really got me thinking about the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I can’t recall them all for you now….and trust me, I’ve been trying for days to put my finger on even a few….but they’re in my heart, and really that’s all that matters. Little Francisco, were he a real little boy, may not grow up and recall word for word every proverb his father blessed him with, but he would certainly remember climbing that mango tree and that in some way, it would with him because it was significant. Not merely because it was the first time he had climbed the tree, and not because it was on his saint day…he would also remember it because it would remind him of his father – his father’s hat, his father’s patience, his father’s laughter and love. And it would remind him of his aunt, the crabby one, who turns out isn’t so crabby after all.

I think the underlying message here is that our first and best lessons come from home. We are who we are because of the parents that helped to shape our minds and hearts. I cannot imagine being without that original recipe lovin’ in my life, the flavor that has shaped who I am, what I know, and what I aspire to be.

All in all, my humble opinion of A Mango in the Hand: 5 mangoes. A story with such heart, delightful illustrations, and a delicious fruit I fancy deserves no less.

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