Papá's Magical Water-Jug Clock

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Pub Date Jun 06 2023 | Archive Date Jul 05 2023

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★ Kirkus Reviews ★ Publishers Weekly ★ School Library Journal
A 2024 Pura Belpré Honor Award, American Library Association

In Mexican American comedian Jesús Trejo’s debut picture book, a little boy makes a big, funny mistake and learns the value of resources like time and water—both of which have a magic all their own.

Little Jesús is excited to spend a Saturday with his landscaper Papá at the “family business.” He loves Papá’s cool truck and all the tools he gets to use. Papá even puts him in charge of the magical water jug, which is also a clock! When it's empty, Papá explains, the workday will be done. It’s a big job, and Jesús wants to do it right. But he just can’t help giving water to an array of thirsty animals—a dog in a sweater, some very old cats, and a flock of peacocks. Before he knows it, the magical water jug is empty —but the workday’s not over yet! Will Jesús be fired?! Or is the jug not really magical after all? This mischievous tale of a very young comedian’s life lesson will warm hearts and have class clowns, practical jokers, and all high-spirited kids nodding in sympathy.

★ Kirkus Reviews ★ Publishers Weekly ★ School Library Journal
A 2024 Pura Belpré Honor Award, American Library Association

In Mexican American comedian Jesús Trejo’s debut picture book, a little boy...

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ISBN 9781662651045
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 10 members

Featured Reviews

This book tells the story of a little boy who goes to work with his father, a landscaper. His father puts him in charge of the water jug and tells him it is a magical jug, that when it is empty it tells us it is time to go home. Jesus loves the idea but also decides that he needs to use water for more than just to drink. He splashes water on his face and serves drinks to animals and before he knows it, it is 11 o'clock and the water has already run out. He is sad to learn that the water jug is not actually magical, but is glad to know that his father was trying to make the day of labour more fun for him, they decide to have fun in other ways. The story also reminds readers of the importance of not wasting water.

I like that the characters are Hispanic and that their language and culture are mentioned throughout. This is perfect for teachers wanting to find texts that represent their diverse student populations. The text is fairly simple and easy to read. The illustrations are a slightly unusual style and look a bit messy, but I think that was part of the aesthetic as it seems to be told both in writing and through pictures as if it is coming from a child. There are also a few speech bubbles and comic-style details that will make it appealing for younger readers. I would definitely recommend this book to parents and teachers of children in the age 4-8 range. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book!

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I received an electronic ARC from Astra Publishing House through NetGalley.
Jesus gets to go with his Papa for the whole workday. He is in charge of the magical water-jug clock that will let them know when the day is done. At first, he is not careful and wastes much of the water by pouring it on his face. He is also kind and gives some to the animals at the houses where they work. When the water-jug is empty, he knows it is time to go home. However, his papa explains that they have a lot more work to do and the jug is not magical. Jesus learned a valuable lesson about rationing the water and taking care of resources.
I appreciate the love between this father and son and the joy they share together. The real magic is in their relationship.
Wonderful memory filled story from this author.

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This charming story is filled with an important life lesson, but Jesús's zany actions, the strange animals he discovers as they work, and the colorful illustrations by Eliza Kinkz that celebrate this hard-working family's daily routine while creating a sense of lighthearted silliness along the way, creates a wonderful story that will delight readers everywhere. There is so much to love about Papá’s Magical Water-Jug Clock. I encourage you discover it for yourself. It will be worth it!

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I read this first to myself, read it again to my oldest son and again when my second son overheard and wanted me to read it aloud again. Three times and I still loved this book. My oldest son said “Mom! My friend José’s dad is a gardener too! José helps his dad sometimes”. This is why I love children’s books, the diversity. Not just the diversity of characters but the diversity of lives (example: Jesus’s dad is a gardener and his mom is a cleaner).
This story follows Jesus and his dad on a hot Saturday while they go to the various of houses they do lawn care for. Jesus is in charge of the magical water jug and learns a lesson later about time and water being precious.
The illustrations are so bright and I think kids who like they style of DogMan or Captain Underpants would appreciate this style as well.

Thank you Astra Books (children) for the ARC. We will be adding this book to our family library as soon as a print is available.

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