Reading Roundup: 10 Latino Children’s Books Celebrating the Natural World

Aprils 2016 Reading Roundup¡Buenos días!

In celebration of Earth Day, this month I have put together a list of books involving Latin America and the natural world. While creating this list, I was continually thinking about our everyday interactions with nature. This month is the perfect time for openly and beautifully reflecting on what it means to interact with the earth, and I hope that these books will provide a platform to do so. These books are a celebration of the natural world, including plants, animals, the sun and the sky. In addition, they draw connections to conservation, life cycles, food and medicines. I hope everyone finds them inspiring!


Parrots Over Puerto Rico
Written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Collages by Susan L. Roth
Published by Lee & Low Books Inc.
ISBN: 9781620140048
Age Level: 6-11

Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots as green as their island home. . . . These are Puerto Rican parrots. They lived on this island for millions of years, and then they nearly vanished from the earth forever.

Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development, and habitat destruction. In this compelling book, Roth and Trumbore recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrots’ story is a brief history of Puerto Rico itself, from before the first human settlers to the present day.

With striking collage illustrations, a unique format, and engaging storytelling, Parrots Over Puerto Rico invites readers to witness the amazing recovery efforts that have enabled Puerto Rican parrots to fly over their island once again.

My thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book, and it is perfect for teaching Earth Day! Roth’s collages are incredibly captivating and I could not help but take time looking at their details. This book ties the history of the Puerto Rican parrots to the history of Puerto Rico itself, therefore teaching about the effect that actions in history have on the environment. Just like Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism and becoming a commonwealth state of the United States, the Puerto Rican parrots have had a difficult history, and they have survived and continue to persevere. This book also tells about the need for intervention in order to prevent the extinction of the parrots by depicting human efforts to save the parrots. It tells in detail the processes that scientists and conservationists have taken towards saving these birds, and at the end of the book there are photos of the efforts with nonfictional descriptions. In addition, Lee & Low Books has a guide for educators that I encourage you to check out! Continue reading


¡Mira Look!: Singing Oranges and Lemons

singing oranges¡Today’s Mira Look! kicks off our National Poetry Month posts with an exquisite stroke of paint and prose. Cantando Naranjas y Limones (Singing Oranges and Lemons) written by María Nieves de Abajo Bajo and illustrated by Azita Golarai is, to put it simply, magical, vibrant, soft and picturesque. Continue reading

WWW: National Poetry Month

--From Academy of American Poets

–From Academy of American Poets

April is National Poetry month and oh dear readers have I got a web resource for you! (Full kudos to Katrina for the heads up on this web site). The Academy of American Poets has a fantastic web site dedicated to unfurling the world of poetry for inquisitive minds. I’m going to give you a quick run down of the web site and then link you to some Latino/a resources within this. As a learning tool, poetry offers children/young adults/everyone the chance to explore meaning and nuance behind language. Continue reading

¡Mira, Look!: Messengers of Rain: and Other Poems from Latin America

multicultural teaching, young adult literature, award, educationEnglish, History and Sociology teachers know that poetry can be an extremely useful tool to get a classroom discussion started. Today’s Mira Look is about a collection of Latin American poems that will no-doubt help your classroom kids learn, explore and discuss not only the different styles of poetry, but the places and themes the authors are presenting. Continue reading