One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers

Book review by
Monica Encarnacion, Common Sense Media
One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers Book Poster Image
Fun counting book introduces Latinx culture, Spanish words.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Counting book with lots of Spanish words and a glossary to help with pronunciation and definitions.

Positive Messages

Counting is fun! Take a look around, numbers are everywhere.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Paints a beautiful picture of Latino culture and joys of childhood.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers, by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and illustrated by John Para, is a lively picture book that makes counting fun, with lots of Spanish words and a detailed glossary in the back to help with pronunciation and definitions. This lively picture book is a companion to the Pura Belpré Honor Book Green Is a Chile Pepper.

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What's the story?

ONE IS A PIŇATA: A BOOK OF NUMBERS is a counting book in which kids discover a fiesta of numbers in the world around them while counting from one to 10 and picking up Spanish vocabulary along the way. Two are maracas and cold ice creams, "seven are marigolds" and calaveras, nine are "paraguas and puddles for splashing." As with other books in this series, John Parra's illustrations include recognizable elements from Mexican culture: Mariachis, calaveras, los Tres Reyes Magos, and a lucha libre mask.

Is it any good?

Rich illustrations and fun-to-read rhyming text enumerates the joys of counting and the wonders that abound in every child's day. Author Roseanne Greenfield Thong beautifully exposes young readers to Spanish vocabulary that's seamlessly woven into the text on every page. The featured objects in One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers are Latinx in origin but have universal appeal -- a piñata, maracas, cometas, calaveras, faroles -- giving families a great opportunity to explore a new culture in a fun way. At the end of the book, you'll find a helpful glossary that explains the cultural significance of the featured objects.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can explore the world around them, just like the characters in One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers, and practice counting different items they find at home, at school, and in the community. How many plates do you see on the table? How many friends are at the park?

  • Read through the glossary together at the back of the book and discuss the cultural significance of some of the different items mentioned in One Is a Piñata. Do you like to fly cometas? Did you enjoy breaking the piñata at your birthday party?

  • Latinx culture is illustrated in this book. Are you Latinx? What culture does your family identify with?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love bilingual books and Latinx culture

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