Good afternoon, everyone!
I want to start by saying thank you to all who continue to comment each week and by saying congratulations to the winner of last week’s giveaway! This week, we are giving away a bit of a bigger package. This week’s giveaway includes Alma Flor Ada’s Arrullos de la sirena, The Rooster who went to his Uncle’s Wedding, The Three Golden Oranges, The Lizard and the Sun/La lagartija y el sol, and F. Isabel Campoy’s Rosa Raposa.
The first book, the very recently published, Arrullos de la sirena, written by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by Jairo Linares Landinez, is a collection of rhyming verses, written in Spanish, which “captures the sheer joy felt upon the birth of a child.” According to the Amazon description for the book, “The musicality of the poems makes them ideal for reading aloud. Each one will evoke imagery for older children while being as soothing as a lullaby for younger ones.” Great for all ages and quick to read, this book would make a great addition to any bilingual or Spanish speaking classroom!
The second book is The Rooster who went to his Uncle’s Wedding. This book was written by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by Kate Kuchera. It was recently recognized by Bank Street College as “One of the Best Books of the Year” and Alma Flor describes it by saying, “This is one of the many tales which I received from my Grandmother, my mother’s mother, who was a fabulous storyteller. She would tell it to me outdoors, usually on the porch, and would weave into the story any of the animals we could see—a goat, a cow—and the story would change from day to day, becoming as alive as our own surroundings.” The book description reads, “What can you do if your beak is covered with mud, and the grass refuses to help you… the sheep won’t eat the grass… the dog won’t bite the sheep…? Well if you are a rooster on your way to your uncle’s wedding, you’ll ask your friend the sun, and he’ll surely turn things around! Outstanding illustrations by Kathleen Kuchera add brilliant tropical colors to this sunny story.” Kirkus Reviews recommends the book for grades three to eight.
The Three Golden Oranges, written by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by Reg Cartwright, is the third book in this week’s giveaway! In the Booklist review of The Three Golden Oranges, Hazel Rochman writes, “In this version of a popular Hispanic folktale, three brothers in search of brides are told by an old woman that they will each find the wives they want–if they work together. She sends them on a quest to bring her three golden oranges. Of course, the two oldest try on their own and fail, and the youngest pulls them together. In a nice twist, he is finally rewarded by a strong bride who chooses him.” School Library Journal recommends this one for grades one through five, and Alma Flor’s website includes a coloring activity to accompany the reading of this book in class!
We are also including The Lizard and the Sun/La lagartija y el sol, in this week’s giveaway. It is also written by Alma Flor Ada, translated to English by Rosalma Zubizarreta, and illustrated by Felipe Dávalos. This “Mexican folktale in a bilingual format” has received Gold Medal recognition by the National Parenting Publications Association in the Folklore Category. The book description: “Once, a long, long time ago, the sun disappeared from the sky. Everything was dark for many days. All the animals went to search for the sun in the rivers and lakes, through the fields and forests, but the sun was nowhere to be found. Little by little all the animals gave up, except for the faithful lizard. Finally one day she found a strange glowing rock and discovered the sun fast asleep. But no one could persuade the sun to wake up. Then the emperor organized a great feast, with the finest dancers and musicians, so the sun would wake up and never fall asleep again. Since that day, all lizards love to lie in the sun, to remember the day when one of their own brought light and warmth back to the world.” The School Library Journal recommends this book for kindergarten to grade three and Alma Flor herself has created a “Mini Lesson to Present the Book” on her website, which tells the story of where the idea for the book came from, includes themes, concepts, and values to be learned from its reading, vocabulary, and activities to use in the classroom afterwards. The lesson plan is also available in Spanish!
The final book in this week’s giveaway is Rosa Raposa, written by F. Isabel Campoy, illustrated by Jose Aruego. It is recommended for ages three to seven and the Kirkus Review has described it as follows, “Deep in the Brazilian jungle, Rosa Raposa is making mischief. Basing the adventures of this crafty fox on stories recalled from childhood, Campoy has moved the setting from Spain to the Amazon Rainforest. Campoy skillfully crafts three episodes, each bearing its own title, in which Rosa outsmarts her long-suffering adversary, Jaguar. The mood is light and humorous as Jaguar is lured into a pit, is tied to a tree, or lands in the middle of a bee swarm. Set amid exotic flora and fauna, Aruego and Dewey’s characteristic illustrations blend pen and ink, watercolor, and pastels. Most scenes are entrenched in shades of green, but remain engaging as the sky varies—from lavender to pale yellow to bright blue—with each turn of the page. A combination of sharp pen-and-ink edges and minimal shading creates a two-dimensional quality, enhancing the folk tone of the work. The inclusion and rendering of the jungle’s inhabitants makes this a superlative medium to introduce South America to small children. An author’s note supplies a short glossary, defining some of the Amazonian plants and animals appearing in Rosa’s exploits. These brains-over-brawn tales are an exceptional experience in folk storytelling, with an education in the Amazon as a bonus. Jaguar had better keep his promise to return.”
As you can see, mostly all five of these stories relate to oral story-telling and traditional stories passed down throughout generations of families. We think these books would make for great classroom read-aloud and discussion that could help touch on a number of great themes such as oral histories, kindness, families, faith, loyalty, and friendship, among many others.
What would you use these books to talk about in the classroom? Let us know by leaving a comment below! We will contact winners at the end of the week to collect shipping information.
Until next week,
Image: Photo of Arrullos de la sirena. Reproduced from Alma Flor’s website.
Image: Photo of The Rooster who went to his Uncle’s Wedding. Reproduced from Alma Flor’s website.
Image: Photo of The Three Golden Oranges. Reproduced from Alma Flor’s website.
Image: Photo of The Lizard and the Sun/La lagartija y el sol. Reproduced from Alma Flor’s website.
Image: Photo of Rosa Raposa. Reproduced from Kirkus Review.