Federico Exaggerated by Hazel Pacheco (Book Review)

Federico enjoys exaggerating. Especially when it means all eyes are on him! One day his inflated story of his bravery on the Rio Grande is interrupted by the announcement of ripe hackberries. Left without an audience, Federico stomps off and accidentally stumbles onto a way to recapture his friends’ attention—well maybe. What he finds might teach him that truth can be incredible without exaggeration.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


There were a few challenging words for young readers to decipher: covey, arroyo, bosque. There were also animals listed that might be unfamiliar to them: sagebrush sparrow and yellow-bellied sapsucker. I was happy to discover that Hazel Pacheco included a glossary after the story ended. 

I plan to use single words in spelling and vocabulary lessons in my classroom. I’ll also allow my class to explore the Rio Grande and look up real-life images of hackberry, roadrunners, sagebrush sparrow, and the yellow-bellied sapsucker. 

As a parent, I like to share the stories I get the privilege of reading with my child. She loved the suspense, the action, and the drawings. She pointed out that the feathers on the top of their heads resemble question marks. You know what, they do. Not all the time, but definitely in several spots. I don’t know if the artist (Kim Sponaugle) would be thrilled by the comparison, but I’m happy my daughter noticed a grammar mark. That means she’s retaining what she’s learning in school. She also said that the red on their head and fluffy white trim looked like Santa’s hat. What an observant child! I can also see what she’s talking about. Federico also had white feathers circling his head, giving him a Saint Nick appearance. I joked he must be Santa’s bird. That explanation delighted her. This whole story delighted her. 

Federico Exaggerated by Hazel Pacheco had action, suspense, and yummy watermelon. Not only did this story entertain my youngster, but it also made her ask for a slice of watermelon. She wanted one with seeds to eat like the birds in the story. She settled for seedless. 

Federico Exaggerated is perfect for school-age children who understand how to use a glossary. If you read this book to children six and under, explain the difficult words or substitute them for words they’ll understand. You can always define the more challenging words when they are a bit older. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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About the Author

After retiring, Hazel Pacheco discovered a new passion–writing. Since her home is in New Mexico, you won’t find her taking long walks along the beach, but she does have plenty of sandy paths to walk in her native Land of Enchantment. That is how she became acquainted with the gambel quail.

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