March 23rd | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! Below are this week’s resources. I hope you have as much fun reading them as I did in gathering them!

– Beacon Broadside shared “To Write is to Resist and to Raise Women’s Silenced Voices,” an interview with Jennifer Browdy about writing Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean. According to Browdy, she “learned so much through working with these writers to put together this anthology.” Both this short interview and the book itself would be great resources to share with older students if you wanted to engage in them in conversations about the importance of writing their stories and lifting their voices, or in discussions about important feminist writers of Latin America and the Caribbean.

–  Check out how Washington’s Yakima School District teachers are learning Spanish to better help their students. According to one of the instructors “these lessons allow the teachers to see the classroom from the kid’s perspective, which allows them to better present their subjects.”

– For those of you wondering where to find nursery rhymes in children’s books, De Colores compares two children’s books influenced by Latinx culture and the Spanish language. Read their full review to find out why they highly recommend one, but not the other.

– From NPR, a story on how “In Junot Díaz’s ‘Islandborn,’ A Curious Child Re-Createse Her Dominican Roots.” “‘She is an immigrant who came over so young, she has no memories of the land that she left behind,’ Díaz says. ‘And of course she is surrounded by a community that talks endlessly about the island.’ She’s about 6 years old, the age Díaz was when he and his family fled to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, which was torn apart by the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Islandborn, illustrated by Leo Espinosa, follows Lola’s quest to find out about the mysterious nation.”

 – In their ongoing series about culturally responsive teaching for all grades, Lee and Low has put together their list of 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Middle School.

-You might want to check out Puerto Rico Strong, a “new comic book anthology that raises money for Puerto Rico by telling stories of history and fantasy” by Lion Forge. “All profits from Lion Forge’s just-released “Puerto Rico Strong” anthology, written and illustrated by some of the top Puerto Rican and Latino talent in the comic book industry, will go to the United Way of Puerto Rico. Lion Forge’s pledge will assist with nonprofit child-care facilities, community schools and health-care centers.” The book offers a “..deep dive into Puerto Rican culture. Stories range from Taino warriors taking a stand against colonization and Puerto Rico’s ugly history of forced sterilization to Puerto Rican pride and even space exploration.”

– Por fin, tal vez les gusten los comentarios al libro ‘De segunda mano’ de Osiris Mosquea’ por Xánath Caraza. Segun el comentador, el libro “nos llena de imágenes contundentes a través de una prosa estructurada en microrrelatos y pigmeismos que, igual que la violencia, llega concentrada, a su máximo, de realidades desgarradoras y sin aviso.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Monarch Butterflies. Reprinted from Flickr user CNNF_CatwillowMonarchArea under CC©.

 

¡Mira, Look!: Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol

Call Me TreeSaludos, readers! In light of Earth Day (April 22) and National Poetry Month I am delighted to present to you a very special book that perfectly celebrates a child’s relationship to nature through bilingual poetry. Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol, written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, is a beautiful book that manages the unique achievement of being gender neutral.

Here is a description from Goodreads:

In this spare, lyrically written story, we join a child on a journey of self-discovery. Finding a way to grow from the inside out, just like a tree, the child develops as an individual comfortable in the natural world and in relationships with others. The child begins “Within/ The deep dark earth,” like a seed, ready to grow and then dreaCall me Tree earthm and reach out to the world. Soon the child discovers birds and the sky and other children: Trees and trees/ Just like me! Each is different too. The child embraces them all because All trees have roots/ All trees belong. Maya Christina Gonzalez once again combines her talents as an artist and a storyteller to craft a gentle, empowering story about belonging, connecting with nature, and becoming your fullest self. Young readers will be inspired to dream and reach, reach and dream . . . and to be as free and unique as trees.

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¡Mira, Look!: Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/Jitomates risuenos y otros poemas de primavera

Laughing TomatoesHey there readers! Now that it’s April, we will be celebrating National Poetry Month in conjunction with the fact that it’s finally springtime! This week I present a beautiful bilingual book that perfectly encapsulates these two themes: Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems/Jitomates risuenos: y otros poemas de primavera written by Francisco Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

Here is a description from Goodreads:

Tomatoes laugh, chiles explode, and tortillas applaud the sun! With joy and tenderness, delight and sadness, Alcarcon’s poems honor the wonders of life and nature: welcoming the morning sun, remembering his grandmother’s songs, paying tribute to children working in the fields, and sharing his dream of a world filled with gardens. Artist Maya Christina Gonzalez invites us to experience the poems with her lively cast of characters including a spirited grandma, four vivacious children, and playful pets who tease and delight. Follow them from page to page as they bring each poem to colorful life. Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems is a verbal and visual treat, giving us twenty opportunities to see everything for the first time.

Ode to CornCesars TreeThe book celebrates an appreciation of nature’s resources: a boy wakes up to the morning sun warming his bed, there is an ode to corn, and a prayer for a fallen tree. There is a poem about strawberries that recognizes children who work in the fields, followed by a poem that describes how the children planted an oak tree “more bountiful with time” that had “open arms for grown up’s and children” with the features and spirit of Cesar Chavez, planted on his birthday.

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¡Mira, Look!: Tamalitos: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem

tamalitos-coverHello there readers! Last week I reviewed a children’s book that teaches shapes through showcasing Latino foods, and two weeks ago I presented a bilingual poetry book written by award-winning, Salvadorian author, Jorge Argueta. This week I tie them all together by presenting one of Argueta’s poetic recipe books: Tamalitos: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem (ages 4-7), illustrated by Domi.

Here is a description from Goodreads:
In his fourth cooking poem for young children, Jorge Argueta encourages more creativity and fun in the kitchen as he describes how to make tamalitos from corn masa and cheese, wrapped in cornhusks. In simple, poetic language, Argueta shows young cooks how to mix and knead the dough before dropping a spoonful into a cornhusk, wrapping it up and then steaming the little package. He once again makes cooking a full sensory experience, beating on a pot like a drum, dancing the corn dance, delighting in the smell of corn . . . And at the end, he suggests inviting the whole family to come and enjoy the delicious tamalitos “made of corn with love.” Domi’s vivid paintings, featuring a sister and her little brother making tamalitos together, are a perfect accompaniment to the colorful text.

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