¡Mira, Look!: Sueño azul / Kallfv pewma mew

1Hoy vamos a hablar de Sueño Azul / Kallfv pewma mew del poeta y oralitor chileno Elicura Chihuailaf y de los ilustradores María de los Ángeles Vargas y Alberto Montt, ambos originarios del país andino. Durante esta crítica me referiré a la obra, Kallfv pewma mew, en su denominación mapuche; idioma también conocido como mapudungun. Es de resaltar la descripción del autor como oralitor, una figura acuñada por el mismo que pretende honrar a los antepasados mapuches y supone una mixtura de oralidad y escritura.

Kallfv pewma mew es un pasaje a las tierras de la Araucanía, en Chile central, donde el saber indígena de los mapuches no parece haber sido ultrajado por capas de colonialismo histórico. Supone un despertar poético del autor entre su tejido familiar, con los mayores como pilar vital para adquirir una posición de respeto por la lengua, las tradiciones y la naturaleza. Estos últimos se funden en un caluroso abrazo y dejan destilar los frutos de su unión para dar a conocer un estilo de vida que bebe del color azul, el poder de la tierra y la importancia de la oralidad como hilo conductor de su existencia misma. Dejémonos transportar por algunos de los evocadores pasajes:

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Pukem wamfiñ ñi tranvn ti pu koyam ti llvfkeñ mew wvzam tripalu

/ En invierno sentimos caer los robles partidos por los rayos […]

Che ta rumel mogen Mapu gelay Mapuche fey piley Mapu mu tripachi che piley

/ La Tierra no pertenece a la gente, Mapuche significa Gente de la Tierra […]

 

 

La obra ofrece un lirismo que fluye como las aguas de un río en lengua mapuche y castellana respectivamente (incluyendo la versión en inglés y francés hacia el final de la misma), y se deja confundir con recuerdos que no aparecen constreñidos por reglas gramaticales (el texto no está puntuado); recuerdos que dialogan con unas ilustraciones bidimensionales que proyectan el alma de la vida mapuche. Partiendo de su infancia, el autor va construyendo un arco vital cuajado de sabiduría ancestral y cómo esta forja su ser poético al calor de las hogueras. Una pasión que le hará viajar a otros países y que permite que se erija en un legítimo representante de la población indígena chilena.

3Elicura Chihuailaf es un poeta y oralitior chileno nacido en 1952 en la región de la Araucanía, hacia el sur de Santiago, la capital, en el centro del país. Kallfv pewma mew es su primera obra infantil, aunque tiene una extensa publicación de otros textos como El invierno, su imagen y otros poemas azules (1991), Recado confidencial a los chilenos (1999) o Sueños de luna azul (2008). Por su parte, María de los Ángeles Vargas y Alberto Montt son ilustradores y diseñadores chilenos que colaboran regularmente con varias editoriales y medios nacionales.

Recursos relacionados con la promoción de la poesía, el respeto por el saber tradicional y la naturaleza:

Esta publicación tiene un sentido especial para mí por varias razones: la primera es que uno de mis amigos más importantes, de esos que aunque pase el tiempo y no os veáis todo sigue igual cuando tenéis oportunidad, es chileno. La segunda tiene que ver con el hecho de aunar poesía, saber ancestral y naturaleza. Este triángulo mágico que transporta y evoca de forma tan poderosa.

¡Nos vemos en próximas publicaciones, estad atentos al blog!

Santi

¡Mira, Look!: Xóchitl, la niña de las flores

¡Hola a todos de nuevo!

Hoy vamos a hablar de Xóchitl, la niña de las flores del autor Jorge Argueta y el ilustrador Carl Angel, asentados ambos artistas en la ciudad de San Francisco y alrededores. Si te gustaron nuestras críticas pasadas, acompáñanos y déjate llevar por otra bonita historia en español, de esas que adquieren tanto más sentido cuando se cuentan en nuestra propia lengua.

3Xóchitl, la niña de las flores es una historia de superación ofrecida simultáneamente en español e inglés, que enfatiza la importancia de la comunidad, y es contada a través de la mirada inocente de una niña salvadoreña en San Francisco, muy muy lejos del país y la cultura que la vieron nacer. La historia se desarrolla circularmente desde un momento inicial donde el papá y la mamá de Xóchitl [Xochi] trabajan arduamente para salir adelante, pintando casas o trabajando de lo que encuentra y limpiando casas respectivamente. La mamá de Xóchitl también se dedica a vender flores frescas por el barrio, ayudada en ocasiones por su hija.

Ambas disfrutan mucho vendiendo flores juntas, por lo que saltan de alegría cuando el papá les propone mudarse a otra casa con patio trasero y convertir este en un vivero para sus queridas flores. Cuando la comunidad se vuelca en ayudarlos y en crear un espacio limpio y bonito, listo para que vengan a vivir las flores y las plantas, don Roberto, el dueño del lugar, aparece amenazando con denunciarles a las autoridades por entretener a toda clase de gente en una zona residencial.4

Y es aquí donde entra en juego el sostén de la comunidad, la fuerza resultante de algo más que la suma de todos los elementos, que se pondrá de acuerdo para convencer al dueño de las ventajas de tener un vivero en vez de un basurero. La historia, pasado este mal trago, cierra su ciclo con el acercamiento de la familia de Xóchitl y don Roberto.

Una vez más la inocencia es el hilo conductor de esta historia de final feliz sí, pero con una pátina de valores como el esfuerzo y la superación personal que trasciende, dejándose llevar por detalles preciosistas incrustados en vivencias que reflejan ese impulso tan humano de seguir hacia delante en cualquier circunstancia. El Salvador se menciona como una nebulosa de recuerdos que no hacen sino transportarnos a San Francisco, a miles de kilómetros; una ciudad con fuerte presencia de emigrantes—muchos de ellos hispanoamericanos, pero parte inevitable de un país con una lengua y una cultura diferentes.2

De una forma casi magnética, el libro nos invita a mirar a nuestros vecinos y preguntarnos qué hay más allá de lo superficial. Nos invita a cultivar nuestro respeto por los demás y a regar con abundante agua fresca las relaciones en comunidad. Porque la vida de barrio es un bonito microcosmos, un jardín en el que plantar esas flores que son personas y relaciones, y que perfectamente podrían echar sus raíces a nivel macro. Quizá universalizar nuestros barrios sea una manera de superar tanto individualismo.

El autor Jorge Argueta se inspiró en una historia real del barrio de Mission District en la ciudad de San Francisco para escribir Xóchitl, la niña de las flores, y se lo dedica cariñosamente a todas las arduas trabajadoras que venden flores en las calles para sacar adelante a sus hijos. Este poeta y profesor nacido en El Salvador lleva en San Francisco desde los años 1980, tiempo durante el cual ha tenido oportunidad de escribir otros libros como Una película en mi almohada, ganador en 2002 del Premio Américas a la Literatura Latinoamericana y el IPPY por Ficción Multicultural para el público juvenil.

Por su parte, el ilustrador Carl Angel, tiene en su haber obras como Lakas and the Manilatown Fish o Mga Kuwentong Bayan: Folk Stories from the Philippines. En su caso su contribución también está dedicada a la gente de Mission District.

Recursos relacionados y enfocados en la aplicación educativa para la promoción de los valores de respeto, esfuerzo y unión de la comunidad:

¡Espero que os haya gustado la recomendación literaria de hoy!

Nos vemos en unos días para seguir echando nuestra imaginación a volar y de paso reflexionar sobre el papel que queremos desempeñar en nuestras sociedades.

Santi

November 11th | Week in Review

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Hola a todos! This Week in Review is quite long, but I assure you it is full of resources and knowledge that needs to be shared.

ColorLines shared a recent snippet from the show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, inviting readers to “Watch John Oliver Break Down How School Resegregation Hurts Students.” “Black and Latino children are more likely to attend school with inexperienced teachers who are then less likely to offer a college prep curriculum… [and are] 6 times as likely to be in poverty schools.”

— Lee & Low’s blog, The Open Book, shared a post on “Books as Bricks: Building a Diverse Classroom Library and Beyond,” which offers a list of recommendations for teachers looking to diversify their class and school libraries.

– The Horn Book published an article on “Decolonizing Nostalgia: When Historical Fiction Betrays Readers of Color” by Sarah Hannah Gómez, in which she writes: “Omitting nonwhites from episodic historical fiction and the everyday history that informs our lives today says that the only contribution by people of color to society is conflict. Deleting them from the continuous line of history is a lie that perpetuates this insidious myth. And middle-grade historical fiction has a long way to go to acknowledge this betrayal to readers and attempt to overcome it.”

— The blog, Reading While White, shared a guest post with one of our favorite authors, Yuyi Morales, who discusses “Day of the Dead, Ghosts, and the Work We Do as Writers and Artists.” Morales offers a beautiful discussion of her personal practices related to Día de los Muertos and the implications of its distortion in the general media and children’s books.

– The Facebook page Raising Race Conscious Children shared the article,
Telling Poor, Smart Kids That All It Takes Is Hard Work to Be as Successful as Their Wealthy Peers is a Blatant Lie,” which explores how these students face systemic disadvantages even though they work hard.

— Also, Fundación Cuatrogatos recommends the book Corre que te pillo. Juegos y juguetes, which pulls together 27 games and toys that have existed since the early century in Latin America and other regions around the world

The Zinn Education Project just shared The #NoDAPL syllabus for high school and adults. This resource contextualizes how the current resistance in North Dakota is tied to a “broader historical, political, economic, and social context going back over 500 years to the first expeditions of Columbus” and features the practices of “Indigenous peoples around the world [who] have been on the frontlines of conflicts like Standing Rock for centuries.” “

— From We Need Diverse Books, we learned of the recent article, “The Case of the Missing Books/ 10 Years of Data,” written by children’s book author and artist Maya Gonzalez to highlight the lack of diversity in children’s literature over the last decade.d. “The graph below shows the children’s books that were missing by POC and Indigenous people in the children’s book industry over the last 10 years.”

Lee & Low Books just released Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del arcoíris. The story is about a Mayan young girl named Ixchel and her quest to create a beautiful weaving from unusual materials.

— Lastly, Teaching Tolerance shared What We’re Reading This Week: November 4, a list of resources for critical and conscientious teaching in middle and high school classrooms.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Street Art. Reprinted from Flickr user ARNAUD_Z_VOYAGE under CC©.

Celebrate Earth Day By Reading Kid Lit Books As An Ecocritic

¡Feliz viernes a todos!

Happy Earth Day!! This week, I am reblogging an excellent post by Marianne Snow Campbell. Her idea to read any book about the environment through a critical lens is a great way to introduce critical thinking outside the classroom context. She includes examples from books for different age groups and even includes activity ideas for the classroom! Check it out!

With warmest wishes,

Charla

Latinxs in Kid Lit

By Marianne Snow Campbell

Earth Day is here again!  It’s a time to honor the natural world that surrounds us, consider how we can take better care of the environment, and take action keep our planet healthy and beautiful. In schools, many teachers and students will join together to read and discuss books with environmentalist lessons – The Lorax, The Great Kapok Tree, a variety of picture books about recycling and picking up litter. Last year, Lila Quintero Weaver shared a beautiful post about books celebrating “Latin@ Heroes of the Planet” and other “Earth Day-friendly books with Latin@ connections.” I love the strong messages that these texts carry and believe that they should play a prominent role in educating children about conservation and ecology.

However, reading literature with overt lessons about the earth isn’t the only method for learning about environmentalism. There’s another, somewhat subtler, approach – ecocriticism. Ecocriticism…

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¡Mira Look!: The Sky Painter

sky painterSaludos todos! This week we are continuing our themes of nature and environmental awareness with another great read. The book for this week is The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist, written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Aliona Bereghici. This book follows the life of renowned bird painter, Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927), including his bicultural upbringing, his worldly travels, and his absolute love for birds. As some of you may remember from my previous post on Margarita Engle, she, too, is an avid bird-watcher, botanist and advocate for nature conservation and environmentalism.  Written in Engle’s characteristic poetic style, this book celebrates the beauty of nature, and the pursuit of one’s dreams.

The book is divided up into a series of poems that read like prose, illustrating Engle’s classic, stylistic fusion. Every two pages there is a new title and with an artful use of enjambment and rsky painter 1hyme, Engle narrates the life and work of the wonderful bird artist. Engle, like with many of her other books, expertly combines art and imagination with nonfictional information that will undoubtedly educate young readers in more ways than one. According to a review by Good Reads, “Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927) is now known as the father of modern bird art. He traveled with many scientific expeditions all over the world. His best-known works—paintings for habitat exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York—are still beloved by visitors today. His art helped to encourage wildlife conservation, inspiring people to celebrate and protect the world of wings.” Indeed, Engle’s book joins in Fuertes’ mission of encouraging wildlife conservation and reveling in the beauty of our world’s diverse flora and fauna. Here at Vamos a Leer, we, too, would like to join in the choir and celebrate the natural habitats of the world, while inspiring readers and educators to participate in and encourage environmental conservationism and wildlife protection.

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WWW: Climate Change 101 and Impacts in Latin America

¡Feliz viernes a todos!

I’m feeling a bit under the weather this week so my post will be a little shorter than usual. This week, I will continue the discussion about our lovely planet! As I mentioned last week, Earth Day is important for many reasons, just one of which is to highlight the problems our environments are facing today as a result of our ever-changing climate. While “climate change” is a popular phrase in politics and media reports, I thought it may be nice to introduce a resource that explains the terms frequently used with climate change, and thus explains how climate change began. With both the option to watch a video (narrated by Bill Nye the Science Guy) or to review a slideshow of terms and definitions, we think this resource could help students understand what climate change means as a term and also what it means for the planet we call home.

The second resource is a video that illustrates environmental impacts of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean. In conjunction with my post from last week, this could lead to discussion about why Earth Day is important, what will happen if we do not take action, alternative resources and energy, and even to discussion about recycling both in the classroom and at home.

The video above is best suited for older audiences, since it ties environmental issues into economic terminology.  However, we think younger students could benefit from the video with proper introduction to the key vocabulary. We hope these examples help illustrate that environmental problems impact everyone. If nothing else, we hope you can use these resources in the classroom to provide depth and real life scenarios to your environmental and energy source discussions in the coming weeks. At best, we hope these resources inspire your students to get involved this Earth Day and everyday!

With warmest wishes,

Charla

WWW: A Changing Environment in Latin America Calls for Action this Earth Day

¡Feliz viernes a todos!

Thank you kindly for joining me again to read about our lovely planet this week! We have made it to April and Earth Day is just around the corner on the 22nd. Earth Day is important for many reasons, just one of which is to highlight the problems our environments are facing today as a result of our ever-changing climate. While Latin American countries are only responsible for a small amount of carbon emissions, the environments in Latin America appear to be among those most impacted by the changes. Because Latin America is a region full of diverse ecosystems, from rainforest to tropics and everything in between, the effects small changes to the climate have had in the region are particularly devastating. The Latin Times’ Susmita Baral compiled a slideshow that shows the environmental devastation in twenty Latin American countries as part of the article entitled “Earth Day 2015: Find Out What Environmental Problems 20 Latin American Countries Face.” Using this resource in class in the upcoming weeks will help illustrate the importance of taking action to preserve our environments, not just on April 22nd, but every day. We hope the slideshow will initiate the conversation in the classroom, and help bring real life changes to the foreground so students see the importance of taking action.

The next resource highlights three Latin American countries who have taken action to preserve their environments: Costa Rica, Brazil, and Mexico. Using these three countries as examples, discussions could focus on fossil fuels and their impact on the environment and alternative energy sources that are renewable and less detrimental. Considering Costa Rica, Brazil, and Mexico use many different kinds of renewable energy sources, like solar, wind, and hydro power, classroom discussion will be enriched with real life examples of such alternatives. While we frequently look to the Global South as an example of a developing or underdeveloped region of the world, this would be a great way to incorporate Latin America into the classroom in a positive light; as an example of forerunners in implementing renewable energy, of what policy changes that protect the environment should look like, and providing proof that renewable energy is accessible!

We hope these examples help illustrate the kind of environmental problems that make Earth Day so necessary. If nothing else, we hope you can use these resources in the classroom to provide depth and real life scenarios to your environmental and energy source discussions in the coming weeks.

With warmest wishes,

Charla

Vamos a Leer | WWW: A Changing Environment in Latin America Calls for Action this Earth Day


Image. Photo of Renewable Energy. Retrieved from Resource Lessons under CC.