Just looking at the cover image of this book—a little red-head with toasty brown complexion and Punky Brewster clothing hanging upside down, pink and blue polka dot wrapped pig-tails flapping against her arms, I couldn’t wait to read it. With the title written in English and Spanish, I knew it was going to be a fun read. And, it didn’t disappoint. Once finished, I was so excited, I had to take a few minutes to calm down before writing this review. Marisol embodies and off-beat charm: think Pippi Longstocking, think Eloise, think Madeline; except, Marisol is a Mixed Heritage, Peruvian-Scottish-American and her story is written in English and Spanish with some dialogue in both languages as well. But she is just as confident, plucky, and determined as the other children’s stories’ heroines. Just as her friends and family say she doesn’t match because of her freckled brown skin and red hair (“the color of carrots” says her cousin; “the color of fire”, says Marisol), they say she doesn’t match because she puts peanut butter and jelly on tortillas, they say she doesn’t match because she paints stars in the same sky as the sun, Marisol says all these are good and tasty and unique. Then a friend says she couldn’t match if she wanted to. In true scrappy style, Marisol responds to this comment as if it is a challenge and tries to “match”. Matching is woefully, sad-faced boring until her teacher gives her a note encouraging her to be her mixed up, non-matching self because that is mismatching is true to her. So Marisol in the end is dressed in her Peruvian hat with pink ballet tutu, polka dot skirt and striped leg warmers. She likes herself not matching in every single way. You and your kid will like her too.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended; Age range: 4-8
Book Review by Omilaju Miranda