¡Mira, Look!: Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa

celiaHello there readers and Vamos fans! This month we are proudly celebrating Latina and Latin American women! I am delighted to present to you this week a wonderful book that celebrates the life of one of the most influential females in the history of Cuban music: Celia Cruz. The book, Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa, written by Veronica Chambers and illustrated by Julie Maren, is, of course, about the late, great Cuban-American salsa singer and performer, Celia Cruz.

Here is a description from Goodreads:

Everyone knows the flamboyant, larger-than-life Celia, the extraordinary salsa singer who passed away in 2003, leaving millions of fans brokenhearted. Now accomplished children’s book author Veronica Chambers gives young readers a lyrical glimpse into Celia’s childhood and her inspiring rise to worldwide fame and recognition. First-time illustrator Julie Maren truly captures the movement and the vibrancy of the Latina legend and the sizzling sights and sounds of her legacy. 

Beginning with childhood anecdotes, the book spans most of Celia’s life. We learn that she grew up in a crowde20150218122356480_Page_05d home in a poor section of Havana with a very close family. From a young age she would sing to her younger siblings, by which she would gain the affection of her neighborhood. We learn that Celia was initially shy, but that it did not keep her from singing.

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¡Mira, Look!: Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx

soniaAs the fall gets underway, we hope that all of the little ones are off to a good start.  Most students (and teachers) tend to start out with a great vision for how the year will unfold. Thus, it is a great time to explore what the word vision means. To most of us, vision signifies a goal or a dream. To our students, it means much the same; however, many, especially the younger ones, have yet to develop a voice for what exactly it means to have a vision, or goals. Since Hispanic Heritage month is also underway, we thought it would be appropriate to share with our students the inspirational story of one young Latina and what it means to follow one’s dreams.

Jonah Winter’s Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/ La juez que creció en el Bronx exemplifies what can happen if someone follows his or her dreams. Continue reading