Childrens Book Review: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown

Original artwork by Sara Palacios, illustrator for Marisol

Original artwork by Sara Palacios featured in recent art show at the Sun Gallery in Hayward, Ca., where I work as an art teacher/guide
Original artwork by Sara Palacios featured in recent art show at the Sun Gallery in Hayward, Ca., where I work as an art teacher/guide | Source

A review of "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match"

One of my grandsons favorite childrens books is called "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match", a childrens book written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Sara Palacios. My grandson, age 4, likes to have the book read to him every time he visits with grandma, which is just about every weekend.

When rating childrens books, I like to go to the reviewers themselves (the children) and rate books based on their engagement, and how often they want to read the book. In the case of Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match, this book stands out in our library among the many others.

I fully expect this book to have some very well worn pages in the years to come.

Original illustrations from the book

Sun Gallery in Hayward, Ca. Sara Palacios original illustrations from the childrens book "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match"
Sun Gallery in Hayward, Ca. Sara Palacios original illustrations from the childrens book "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match" | Source
An original illustration by Sara Palacios: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match
An original illustration by Sara Palacios: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match | Source

Marisol McDonald gets a 5 star review from me

As an artist and a writer myself, I also find myself captivated by this book. Besides the fun and colorful artwork, the book has a cute and colorful story-line: it's about a little girl named Marisol who wears mismatched clothes, is an artist and is on a quest to have a puppy (who doesn't love puppies?)

Besides not matching, Marisol is fun, quirky and also bi-lingual. To compliment Marisols Scottish-Peruvian descent, the book is written in both English and Spanish (the first paragraph on each page is written in English, followed by the Spanish interpretation on the other side)

Thanks to Marisol, my grandson and I have learned the following Spanish words so far:

  • perrito (puppy)
  • por favor (please)
  • quizas (perhaps)
  • mami (mommy)
  • abuelita (granny)

Poll on childrens books

Do you read childrens books often to your kids?

  • All the time
  • Not very much
  • I want to start reading to my kids more
See results without voting

Marisol McDonald teaches an important message:

Besides its wonderful cultural diversity, I also give this book a 5 star rating for its:

  • engaging story-line by author Monica Brown
  • great use of both the English and Spanish language (bilingual)
  • beautiful and vibrant artwork by Sara Palacios
  • interesting use of mixed mediums (newspaper is also used in the illustrations)
  • touching on things familiar and important to children (family, pets, playing, art, food, sports, relationships and school)

The most important thing I find about the book, however, is the message that Marisol delivers: the idea that it's OK for children to be different. This is such a valuable lesson in today's society where so much pressure is placed on children to "fit in" and "act" and "dress" like everyone else. Marisol teaches us that it's OK not to have matching clothes or even a matching dog for that matter.

If every child were to have a book like Marisol as required reading in school - and take it to heart that it's OK to be different - we would probably have far less bullying than we do in school.

We all know that kids can sometimes be very mean to other children who don't "fit in" - and Marisol teaches us that's it's OK to just be who we are. Maybe that's also another reason that I can relate to Marisol, because as a child I was quite different from most of the other kids in my school - I was quiet, shy and creative, just like her (and I didn't always "match" either!)

Marisol's story has also brought up many interesting questions from my 4 year old grandson. He is quite captivated by Marisol and how "different" she is. And amazingly, he almost knows the whole book word for word - right up to the end (which is his favorite part btw) Not one to spoil a good ending though, I won't divulge what happens at the end of the book. You'll just have to read the book to find that one out (wink)

Rating for "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match"

5 stars for Childrens Book Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match

More adventures of Marisol McDonald

On an interesting side note, the original illustrations from the book by artist Sara Palacios were recently featured in the Childrens Book Illustrator Show at the Sun Gallery in Hayward, where I work as an art educator.

So charmed by this book. I even used Marisol as an inspiration for a childrens art lesson that I taught at the gallery during the illustrators show. The lessons are about a mismatched dog and you can find step-by-step instructions for those lessons here:

How to Draw a Simple Cartoon Dog With Oil Pastels

How to Draw a Simple Dog With Oil Pastels

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match can be found on Amazon, along with other books by Monica Brown. The book is suggested for ages 4-8, but I love it too and I'm quite a bit older than that, so don't let the age recommendation fool you!

An art lesson inspired by Marisol

A "mismatched" dog art lesson I created based on the book :Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match", a story about a girl that doesn't match either
A "mismatched" dog art lesson I created based on the book :Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match", a story about a girl that doesn't match either | Source

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Comments 2 comments

VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne 3 years ago from United States

Terrific book review. I absolutely love having kids learn art from children's book illustrations and am also amazed at how much kids can learn from stories about life and how to treat other people. Thanks for introducing me to an author I haven't read. With all 5 of my kids I've read aloud to them every day before they went to sleep (nap and bedtime). I'd bring a laundry basket to the library and fill it up every week. However, my youngest is 9 now and we read chapter books, so I've missed some of the picture books the last few years. Voted up and pinned!


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 3 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area Author

@VirginiaLynne) Thanks Virginia, instilling a love of books in kids when they are young is so important. When my kids were little I used to buy lots of books at garage sales so they always had "new" books to read. They became great readers too. This book here about Marisol is definitely a great one to have for your library - I love the message that it's OK to be "different". Thanks for coming by my friend.

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