Let me tell you great readers just how many poetry books there are in the great library in the sky: a Capybara’s worth. There are so many in fact, that it would be impossible to highlight even the top 25 very best in the time allotted for our poetry books. With that being said, I’m going to give you a quick review of a few this week and a few next week to help you on your Vamos a Leer inspired poetry journey.
- Me Llamo Jorge: Em Ambos Lados del Rio (My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River) by Jane Medina and illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck. This great book traces the experiences of an immigrant Mexican child walking that fine line between integrating into American society and holding on to the heritage that informs his identity. Even seemingly innocuous experiences can hold deep meanings. Grades 3-7 (bilingual).
- Hablando con Madre Tierra (Talking with Mother Earth) by Jorge Argueta and illustrated by Lucia Angela Perez. Beautifully lush illustrations complement the rich texts about Mother Earth and little Tetl. Tetl is Pipil Nahua Indian and is being taunted at school because of his looks. Tetl’s grandmother helps him understand the beauty and power in his looks and heritage as that of the beauty and power of Mother Earth. Grades P-3 (bilingual).
- Poemas para Sonar Juntos (Poems to Dream Together) by Francisco X. Alarcon and illustrated by Paula Barragan. Alarcon is an acclaimed and award winning Chicano poet who’s work impresses, inspires and delights; this book is no exception. 17 poems touch on family, nature and the future all told from the perspective of dreams (both day and night) and told from a child’s everyday experiences. Grades 2-5 (bilingual).
I hope these books help you and your students delve into the wonderful world of poetry and its incredible capacity to make us feel the words on the page.
Wondering if Capybara’s do tricks,