April 20th| Week in Review

2018-04-20-image.png

¡Hola a todos! Here are this week’s resources. They are diverse and, like my mom says, “a todo dar.”

–  To start off, check out the Q&A and Cover Reveal with Author-Illustrator Tony Piedra shared by Latinxs in Kid Lit. The cover reveal is for the book The Greatest Adventure, which is going to be released September 11, 2018.

— Check out why it’s time to diversify and decolonise our schools’ reading lists. It was expressed in the post that “Indigenous and students of colour deserve to have the same privilege in education that white students have always had – the opportunity to examine and imagine the full extent of their humanity in literature.”

 – With the latest caravan of Central Americans fleeing their countries due to violence and political reasons, you might want to view Hip Latina’s post on how to talk to kids about violence, crime and war. According to the web, “These tips and conversation starters can help you talk to kids of different ages about the toughest topics.”

— Also from Hip Latina, you can view Zoe Saldana’s perspective on how being Afro-Latina hindered her from landing lead roles. This is a great article when talking about identity and what it means to be Afro-Latina in the U.S. and Latin America.

— La bloga shared the poems Liz González presented to the Autry audience and who will be published in July by Los Nietos Press.

–  Here are some tips for reading poetry aloud to children, courtesy of Lee and Low Books.

— De Colores recommends Arriba, Abajo y Alrededor by Katherine Ayres and Nuestro Huerto: De la semilla a la cosecha en el huerto del colegio by George Ancona. According to the reviewer, Arriba, Abajo y Alrededor is “perfect for bilingual preschool classrooms” while Nuestro Huerto’s “gorgeous full-color photographs are laid out with lots of white space to accommodate his clear, accessible text and student art rendered in marker or crayon.”

— You can view the interview with Saraciea Fennell– an organizer of the Bronx Book Festival that is going to occur May 18-19. Fennell talks about the making of the festival and the reason why it arose.

–  Here are vignettes of women who weave words and who stood their ground in “Literary Witches” and “She Persisted” by Gathering Books.

– Deverian de ver como la fundación la Fuente celebra el día del libro con el festival Somos Lectores. Segun, “la Fuente han dado vida al primer Festival Somos Lectores, con actividades literarias, encuentros con autores, una campaña de donación de libros, descuentos y sorteos. Revisa nuestra programación y participa en esta fiesta de la lectura.”

— Finally, here is why the future is bilingual from TexasMonthly. Former state senator Leticia Van de Putte and Representative Diego Bernal “met at Jefferson High to talk about how to improve public education in San Antonio and the challenges of advocating for the city’s students at a state level.” When discussing how to improve education Representative Bernal emphasized that “the conversation we need to have is that dual language is the way to go. But that’s not the statewide attitude at all.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Santiago, Chile 2005. Reprinted from Flickr user Luxbao under CC©.

¡Mira, Look!: Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics

¡Buenos días! Continuing with National Poetry Month, today we will be taking a look at Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics, written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López. Engle’s work is wonderful to read at any time, but seems even more apt right now given that she is currently serving (2017-2019) as the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate. People who hold this position aim “to raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.”

In this particular book, Engle invites and inspires young readers with a collection of poems about 18 different Hispanics who lived between the years of 1713 and 2011. The people whom she highlights come from a variety of backgrounds, and they worked in many different fields. What they share in common is that they left an important impact on our world, and they are from the Americas.

Before I dive further into the review, I want to have a short conversation about the term “Hispanic” and how it’s used in the book. This is one of many terms that have been chosen by or applied to peoples of Spanish and Latin American descent, alongside terms such as Chicano, Latino, Latinx, Mexicano, Mestizo and Spanish, among others. The use of these terms, including who gets to choose them and why they choose them, is part of a much larger history than we can offer here. Nonetheless we want to pause to acknowledge their complexity and offer at least a starting point for understanding the use of the term “Hispanic” in Bravo!

“Hispanic” first appeared in the 1970s on the US Census, after activists had lobbied for the use of an umbrella category that would more thoroughly document the breadth of Spanish-speaking individuals in the US. Previously, individuals had either marked themselves as “White” or identified by their country of birth. In current parlance, “Hispanic” has evolved into a much more complicated word whose meaning changes depending on the context. It can be interpreted as neutral, hegemonic, politically-charged, inclusive, or exclusive. We’ve included resources further below in case you want to tease apart some of the implications surrounding it. In the case of Bravo, Engle uses the term in a positive sense and interprets it fluidly, beginning the book with this note to her readers:

“This is not a book about the most famous Hispanics. These poems are about a variety of amazing people who lived in geographic regions now included in the modern United States. They are people who have faced life’s challenges in creative ways. Some were celebrated in their lifetimes but have been forgotten by history. Others achieved lasting fame…”

She then goes on to highlight the achievements of both well-known and less famous Hispanics throughout time. Some of the impactful Hispanic people she highlights include: Juan de Miralles from Cuba, who helped America achieve independence from England; the fierce Juana Briones who was born in Spanish California and was a rancher, healer and midwife; Mexican-American botanist Ynés Mexía; Aída de Acosta from Cuba, who was the first female pilot; and Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, who was a New Mexican teacher, nutritionist and writer. After highlighting each historical figure, Engle writes a poem encompassing even more Hispanics who have had a large impact on our world today. It would be an endless job of fitting so many heroes into one book, and one can sense her struggle with wanting to include and celebrate as many people as she can.

Alongside Engle’s writing, Rafael López’s illustrations are magnificent. With simple outlines and saturated colors, he captures the lively personalities that shine through Engle’s poetry, and uses carefully chosen background elements to tease out details of their lives. For example, in the illustration of botanist Ynés Mexía, she is surrounded by plants and flowers. Luis Agassiz Fuertes, painter of birds, is surrounded by birds and stands in front of a background of trees. Juana Briones, healer, rancher and herbalist, stands in a field amid herbs.

This book would be great to use while working with classroom units involving poetry. Each poem is told from a first person point-of-view, which demonstrates a specific approach to writing a poem that might segue well with encouraging students to bring their own voice and experience into the classroom conversation. It could also encourage students to study historical figures and envision their experiences. For example, here is the poem Engle wrote about Paulina Pedroso (1845-1925, Cuba):

 

“José Martí and all the other exiled poets

meet in my Florida home, where they recite

beautiful verses, and discuss ways to bring freedom

to our homeland.

They call me a heroine for creating

a friendship society of black and white cubanos,

all of us living in exile, where we help each other,

and help the needy – orphans, widows, the poor…

 

When my friend and I walk arm in arm,

it is a wordless statement of equality,

Martí’s light skin and my dark skin

side by side.”

 

Below are a few lesson plans involving poetry that I suggest checking out to accompany Bravo!:

  • readwritethink.org has some great lesson plan ideas and resources for using during National Poetry Month.
  • The Poetry Foundation has a variety of resources, including poems for children in particular. Poems by Margarita Engle outside of those found in Bravo! are on this website.
  • On her website, Margarita Engle has two videos with tips for teaching poetry to children.

Given that Bravo! centers around individual stories and we are inviting you to use it as a tool for focusing on your students’ stories, it might be worthwhile to bring in an activity from Rethinking School’s book, Reading, Writing and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word, by Linda Christensen.  While the whole book can be purchased as a PDF for $14.95, a sample lesson plan is available for free. It’s called “To Say the Name is to Begin the Story,” and it offers a community building lesson on the personal and cultural significance of naming. Check out the book link for the lesson plan and related resources.

Returning briefly to the above conversation about Hispanic and Latino/Latinx, here are a few quick resources to add to the conversation (note: we’re not suggesting that you use these as definitive sources):

Finally, if you enjoy Engle’s work as much as we do, you might appreciate reading our reviews of her other books, including Drum Dream Girl and Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, in addition to our educator’s guides for The Surrender Tree / El árbol de la rendición (available in both Spanish and English), Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck, and The Lightning Dreamer. We also posted an interview with Margarita Engle that I recommend checking out. And we also recommend you head over to Latinx in Kid Lit for their complementary review of Bravo.

We hope you enjoy this book as much as we did, and that it will be useful for you in the classroom during National Poetry Month and beyond!

Saludos,

Kalyn


Images modified from: Bravo: Poems About Amazing Hispanics

April 13th| Week in Review

2018-04-13-Image.png

¡Hola a todos! There were so many books shared this week, I hope you enjoy them!

– Junot Diaz is forefront in many minds this week following the New Yorker’s release of his essay, “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma.” We acknowledge and honor his willingness to speak openly about what so many people must endure in silence. Long pause.

–  Check out Latinxs in Kid Lit’s review of the children’s book Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. This book “illuminates an essential connection to ancestors. Inspired by her own name, Juana reminds readers that our names are not just our own, but a reflection of our culture as well.”

– Also from Latinx in Kid Lit, a review of Margarita Engle’s All the Way to Havana. “Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets–neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along.”

 – When talking about U.S.-Latin America experiences and education, you might appreciate Hip Latina’s observations on how French Montana’s Dreamers Campaign Gives First Grant to Kansas City School. Inspired by French Montana’s campaign, We Are the Dream, “two educators at Alta Vista Charter High school created a scholarship program to aid the smartest graduating undocumented students get to college.”

–Also, when highlighting the importance of language and tradition,  don’t miss La Bloga’s cultural reflection post, Yoeme Mask Carvers and Artists : La Familia Martinez by Antonio SolisGomez. Here, you can meet artista Feliciana and her “clay figures, depicting Yoeme figures, Deer Dancers, Pascola’s, Fariseos etc…” Yoeme are indigenous people whose ancestral homelands are found in Sonora, Mexico.

— Cynthia Leitich Smith, author behind the blog Cynsations, posted a video of Rudine Sims Bishop on Mirrors, Windows & Sliding Glass Doors. Dr. Bishop, professor emerita from Ohio State University, is the scholar behind the now well-known article from 1990 that coined the metaphors of windows, mirrors, and doors in children’s and YA literature. If you enjoy hearing Dr. Bishop speak, we also recommend you visit Reading While White’s reflection on the ongoing importance of her work, “Rudine Sims Bishop: In Appreciation.”

– Don’t miss the list of 2017 Middle Grade Novels about Finding One’s Voice and Identity by Gathering Books. If you find yourself interested in My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela and Neruda: Poet of the People, you might want to read more about them courtesy of our own Vamos bloggers.

— Great news! New Online Spanish-Language Bookstore Comes to U.S. April 15, 2018.Check out the new Libros in Español.

–Here is a video posted by Colorín Colorado on why positive body language matters when working with ELLs

-Lee and Low shared their culturally responsive approach to Earth Day. Parrots over Puerto Rico is featured in this post. You can learn more about the book by reading our own Vamos review!

– View the best books on immigration by Five Books.

–Finally, here’s a compilation of the Top 5 Latinxs Poetry Picture Book List as shared by the wonderful Pragmatic Mom.  It’s a great list!

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Costa Rica 2012. Reprinted from Flickr user The Leaf Project under CC©.

March 30th| Week in Review

2018-04-06.png

¡Hola a todos! This week we have a bunch of wonderful Q&A’s with authors and recommended books to read, enjoy!

– We recently came across Catalina and the King’s Wall by Patty Costello and published by Eifrig Publishing- a children’s book that might prompt children to think critically, albeit perhaps implicitly and without knowing the broader political context, about what it means when a country seeks to build an impenetrable wall to keep out another country. “When Catalina overhears the king planning to build a wall, she fears her family won’t ever be able to visit. Catalina tricks the king into building walls that droop, drip, swirl, and swoosh away. But now the king demands an impenetrable wall. Luckily, Catalina has the perfect ingredients to bake up a family reunion! Through beautiful illustrations and enjoyable prose, kids learn how to stand by their convictions of inclusivity and kindness even when powerful people tell them not to.”

 – De Colores recomends My Year in Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver. The book is recomended for 4-7th grade and is about the story of Luisa Olivera’s starting of middle school during the Vietnam war. The book is “a brilliant, fast-moving story that will resonate with middle-grade readers and could not have been published at a better time.”

–Check out this Q&A session with Latinx in Kid Lit and illustrator Jacuqueline Alcántara about her debut picture book, The Field.

– While discussing indigenous history, you might want to check out how Goni and El Zorro fall and $10 Million is awarded to Indigenous Bolivian survivors in landmark human rights case shared by Latin America News Dispatch. The case was “charged that the Bolivian military massacred more than 60 citizens in September and October of 2003 in the city of El Alto, which neighbors La Paz, in what is often referred to as the October Massacre, or Black or Red October.”

–Our friend, Pragmatic Mom, shared 10 diverse picture books on fine artists, one of which is our favorite Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos. If you want to know more, check out Latinx in Kid Lit’s  review of it here.

– Gathering Books shared their first part (out of two) of Biographies of Fantastically Great Women. Because every day is women’s day, they shared this 32-page book about over 13 international women who made a difference in the world.

–When discussing about gender and sexuality in Latin America you might appreciate why GLAAD Is Calling For LGBTQ Representation In Latin Media With #InclusiveScreens by Hip Latina.  GLADD expresses that “it’s an issue with its #InclusiveScreens / #PantallaInclusivas campaign that seeks to increase Afro-Latinx, Indigenous and all LGBTQ characters of color in Latino media

–In honor of the 100th anniversary of Hernández’s birth, La bloga recommended Danza! Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh. Tonatiuh’s books have received many awards and accolades from Pural Belpré and “with Tonatiuh’s distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer.” If you are interested but would like more insight, you might want to check Latinxs in Kid Lit and Vamos a Leer book reviews.

– If you were still wondering why diversity in science fiction and fantasy is so critical than you might appreciate the Q&A session with Sauantani Dasgupta shared by CBC Diversity. The author truly believes that “sci-fi and fantasy narratives help us imagine the futures we want, or don’t want. Diverse science fiction and fantasy – narratives in which indigenous characters and characters of color, LGBTQI+ characters, and characters with disabilities and other marginalized identities are central to the story and not just sidekicks – help write diversity into everybody’s future imaginings.”

–Here is an interview with Lee Francis IV on Native Publishing, Bookstores & Indigenous Comic Con. Mr. Lee Francis IV is the owner of Red Planet Comics and Books here in Albuquerque and founder of Native Realities. To Lee Francis IV, the company started “in 2015 and have published 10 titles to date. When we started, the idea was to fill the gap in Indigenous literature.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Costa Rica. Reprinted from Flickr user Pere Aleu Casanovas under CC©.

¡Mira, Look!: Rubén Darío

Hoy vamos a hablar de Rubén Darío de la autora puertorriqueña Georgina Lázaro y el ilustrador nicaragüense Lonnie Ruiz, una obra incluida en la serie de literatura infantil cuando los grandes eran pequeños. Esta última es un acercamiento a los grandes autores de la literatura hispanoamericana. Si quieres sumergirte en la vida de Rubén Darío, magnífico poeta nicaragüense y artista precoz como el que más, acompáñame a descubrir su propia historia.

Rubén Darío es una invitación a conocer la vida y desarrollo artístico del poeta del mismo nombre en lengua castellana; una historia compuesta por estrofas de cuatro versos octosílabos que riman entre sí y combinan con evocadoras imágenes que acompañan el arco cronológico, entretejiendo un desarrollo personal y profesional marcado por la pasión por las letras. Los colores, de tono claro, generan una paleta donde la poesía es la auténtica protagonista. El libro viene introducido por un extracto final de un poema del autor titulado A Margarita Debayle y fechado a 20 de marzo de 1908:

 

Ya que lejos de mí vas a estar,

guarda, niña, un gentil pensamiento

al que un día te quiso contar

un cuento.

 

1

La historia se desarrolla sin prisa pero sin pausa, reflejando una tierna infancia del autor en San Marcos de Colón (Honduras), marcada esta por la convivencia con su madre y la ausencia del padre, el contacto con la naturaleza primigenia, la posterior mudanza a León (Nicaragua) y su adopción por parte del coronel Félix Ramírez y su esposa Bernarda Sarmiento; tía y madre adoptiva de la madre de Rubén Darío, cuyo nombre real es Rubén García Sarmiento.

Pronto el futuro maestro de las letras quedó fascinado con los libros, y entre fiestas populares, amor paternal e interminables historias, su imaginación iba escalando imparablemente hacia los cielos; allá donde solo los privilegiados que confluyen con las artes tienen acceso. La muerte de su padre adoptivo agrió su imparable ascenso, pero no impidió que un día, alumbrado por la poesía, siguiera su camino, granjeándose el apodo 2del niño poeta y consiguiendo la publicación de un poema en un diario de León a los 12 años. Entre amores de niñez de los que marcan de por vida y agrietan corazones, Rubén Darío termina mudándose a la capital del país, Managua, donde hace de la biblioteca su templo y se termina casando. Allí galopa incesante hacia aguas internacionales, sigue afilando su pluma y se erige como el que para muchos es el padre del modernismo literario.

Georgina Lázaro es una autora puertorriqueña con extensa trayectoria en literatura infantil que cuando comenzó se sentaba en una mesita con lápiz y papel y así redactaba los cuentos que luego les leía a sus hijos a la hora de dormir. Entre sus libros de la serie cuando los grandes eran pequeños destacan, además de Rubén Darío, autores de la talla de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Pablo Neruda o Federico García Lorca. Lonnie Ruiz, por su parte, es un ilustrador nicaragüense que además practica la docencia universitaria y ha participado en bienales de España, México o Rusia.

Recursos relacionados y enfocados a la promoción de la poesía:

¡Como siempre, espero hayáis disfrutado de esta obra y seguimos con la serie de poesía del mes!

Santi

 

March 30th| Week in Review

2018-03-30.png

¡Hola a todos! I am glad for another interesting Women’s History Month. Though we think the focus on women should continue throughout the year, here are a few “last minute” resources you might add to the WHM list, along with some other tidbits we came across.

–  Just as we are preparing to host Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña here at the University of New Mexico, Latinxs in Kid Lit has shared their review of Quintero’s and Peñas’s latest collaboration, a graphic novel on The Life of Graciela Iturbide. “It’s no small order to synthesize a lifetime of artistic growth and achievement, but this book delivers, thanks to the wonderful collaborative work of Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, who are impressive artists in their own right, with rich futures in their respective fields.”

– Lee & Low shared their forthcoming Spring Paperbacks favorite titles, including one that made us super excited – a Spanish translation of our beloved book, Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. El verano de las mariposas is almost here!

 – Want a quick literary moment for your day? La Bloga shared an inspiring and hilarious story, “Cruising with Nayto,” that features Dr. Alvaro Huerta, an assistant professor of Urban and Regional Planning as well as Ethnic and Women’s Studies, at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

– Check out Padma’s Book blog piece on “I is for Inclusion,” where blogger and author Padma Venjatraman discusses how to create a “more inclusive and comfortable atmosphere before, during, and after author visits/events.”

– Other sources about Women’s History month that are at once outstanding, inspiring, and refreshing are pieces that highlight the original Pura Belpré, including how Afro-Latina Pura Belpré gave children the precious love of books and stories and how NYC’s First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish To The Shelves.

— For another lit moment, here are 10 Books by Latina Authors You Should Read During Women’s History Month.

— And here are five female writers and the women who inspired them.

– We offer our congrats to Jacqueline Woodson for winning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award– the world’s prestigious and largest award for children’s writing. Outstanding!

– Our local libraries made the news here for recognizing the one and only Rudolfo Anaya. Our North Valley Library has been renamed as the  Rudolfo Anaya North Valley Library. Dean Smith-the director of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library System emphasized that renaming the library is a tradition “where we honor authors who have made major contributions to the literary canon of New Mexico.” Truth be told, though, Anaya’s impact goes far beyond NM. He’s a legend no matter where you are or what you read!

– Finally, with Easter celebrations upon us, here is Hip Latinas’s list of Semana Santa Traditions from Spanish-Speaking Countries.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City. Reprinted from Flickr user Lul_piquee under CC©.

Mira, Look: Photographic, The Life of Graciela Iturbide

photographicSaludos a todxs,

Today’s post will highlight a recently-released graphic novel about which we are very excited: Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, written by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña. We’re thrilled to see this book released from Getty Publications, but we have yet to hold it in our hands. So, our full review is pending. Instead, we’re offering this preview inspired by the author’s and illustrator’s upcoming visit to Albuquerque! If you’re in town, save the date for April 10th, when they’ll be speaking at Hodgin Hall on UNM’s campus!!!

This beautiful graphic novel is available as the English edition (linked above) and as a full, Spanish-language edition called Iguana Lady: La vida de Graciela Iturbide. The novel documents the life and work of the Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide.

Direct from the publisher, here is a summary of the book:

“Graciela Iturbide was born in Mexico City in 1942, the oldest of thirteen children. When tragedy strikes Graciela as a young mother, she turns to photography for solace and understanding. From then on Graciela embarks on a photographic journey that takes her throughout her native Mexico, from the Sonora Desert to Juchitán to Frida Kahlo’s bathroom, to the United States, India, and beyond. Photographic is a symbolic, poetic, and deeply personal graphic biography of this iconic photographer. Graciela’s journey will excite young readers and budding photographers who will be inspired by her resolve, talent, and curiosity.”

The J. Paul Getty Museum’s website has videos that document Iturbide’s work as a photographer, the process for how Quintero and Peña put together this beautiful graphic novel, and also classroom resources to help share the book with students. The website also provides a thoughtful, extensive digital preview of the text as part of the educator resources.photographic_preview (1)_Page_04

In addition, Getty has also put together:

Our copies are already on the way, so we’ll be back in the near future to share a full review with you.

In the meantime, we’ll dwell for a moment on Quintero and Peña as the creators behind this fascinating publication.

Here on our blog we have highlighted Isabel Quintero as a Featured Author. We have also reviewed and created an educator’s guide for her first YA novel, Gabi: A Girl in Pieces. It is one of the absolute favorites among our local book group! She’s also written the recently-released Ugly Cat and Pablo for younger readers, among other essays and poems. Her work is always incredible, be it lighthearted or gritty, as you can read more about in this article, “Author Visit REHASH: Isabel Quintero, YA, and Children’s Writer (and Poet!)” from this blog on children’s literature run by English & Comparative Lit department at SDSU.

 

Pages from photographic_previewZeke Peña likewise holds a place in our hearts. He is the illustrator behind Photographic and also the illustrator behind the hand-drawn sketches and collages in Gabi. Peña, a cartoonist and painter from El Paso, Texas, writes on his website that, “Most of my work is inspired by living on the border and remixes historical narratives with what’s going on today. I use comics to subvert American history and reclaim stories that were burned by colonialism; resistencia one cartoon at a time.” You can learn more about how identity is forefront in his work in this article by Remezcla, “The river holds our history: Artist Zeke Peña Traces the Rio Grande’s Place in Fronterizo Identity.

We hope that this post inspires you to explore this work of art more thoroughly; we know we are excited to read it!

Saludos,
Kalyn & Keira