March 30th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I am glad for another interesting Women’s History Month. Though we think the focus on women should continue throughout the year, here are a few “last minute” resources you might add to the WHM list, along with some other tidbits we came across.

–  Just as we are preparing to host Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña here at the University of New Mexico, Latinxs in Kid Lit has shared their review of Quintero’s and Peñas’s latest collaboration, a graphic novel on The Life of Graciela Iturbide. “It’s no small order to synthesize a lifetime of artistic growth and achievement, but this book delivers, thanks to the wonderful collaborative work of Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, who are impressive artists in their own right, with rich futures in their respective fields.”

– Lee & Low shared their forthcoming Spring Paperbacks favorite titles, including one that made us super excited – a Spanish translation of our beloved book, Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. El verano de las mariposas is almost here!

 – Want a quick literary moment for your day? La Bloga shared an inspiring and hilarious story, “Cruising with Nayto,” that features Dr. Alvaro Huerta, an assistant professor of Urban and Regional Planning as well as Ethnic and Women’s Studies, at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

– Check out Padma’s Book blog piece on “I is for Inclusion,” where blogger and author Padma Venjatraman discusses how to create a “more inclusive and comfortable atmosphere before, during, and after author visits/events.”

– Other sources about Women’s History month that are at once outstanding, inspiring, and refreshing are pieces that highlight the original Pura Belpré, including how Afro-Latina Pura Belpré gave children the precious love of books and stories and how NYC’s First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish To The Shelves.

— For another lit moment, here are 10 Books by Latina Authors You Should Read During Women’s History Month.

— And here are five female writers and the women who inspired them.

– We offer our congrats to Jacqueline Woodson for winning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award– the world’s prestigious and largest award for children’s writing. Outstanding!

– Our local libraries made the news here for recognizing the one and only Rudolfo Anaya. Our North Valley Library has been renamed as the  Rudolfo Anaya North Valley Library. Dean Smith-the director of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library System emphasized that renaming the library is a tradition “where we honor authors who have made major contributions to the literary canon of New Mexico.” Truth be told, though, Anaya’s impact goes far beyond NM. He’s a legend no matter where you are or what you read!

– Finally, with Easter celebrations upon us, here is Hip Latinas’s list of Semana Santa Traditions from Spanish-Speaking Countries.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City. Reprinted from Flickr user Lul_piquee under CC©.

¡Mira, Look!: Kusikiy: A Child from Taquile, Peru

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¡Buenos días! After having spent the past three months in Cusco, Peru learning the Quechua language and conducting research for my master’s thesis, I’ve decided to focus on Peru for the ¡Mira, Look! book reviews this month. I hope to share with you how my experiences in Peru have influenced my perception of these children’s books!

I’ll be kicking off the Peruvian children’s book reviews with Kusikiy: A Child from Taquile, Peru, written and illustrated by Mercedes Cecilia. The book is about a child named Kusikiy and his environment on Taquile Island of Lake Titicaca. The story begins with an introduction of the different family members’ household and societal roles, in addition to traditions situated on Taquile Island. The illustrations are colorful and filled with symbols and images integral to highland Peruvian life, such as potatoes, wool, looms, thatched roofs, hummingbirds and musical instruments like the quena. In the story, Kusikiy worries about the delayed arrival of the rains for the continuance of the agricultural cycle. Thus, he embarks upon a journey to help with the appearance of the Llama Constellation, which announces the yearly arrival of the rainy season in highland Peru.

Kusikiy draws attention to how the “trees are wilting, the birds are silent and the wind is hot and dry,” demonstrating the interconnectedness of all aspects of life and the environment with the agricultural cycle, which directs Andean life. The first person Kusikiy looks to for guidance in his search for the Llama Constellation is his great grandmother, Yatiri, emphasizing the necessary role of elders in the community as knowledge-keepers. He then looks to his great grandfather, Kuriwallpa, for help in finding the Llama Constellation. In the end, Kusikiy decides “to bring an offering to the APU, the Guardian Spirit of the Great Glacier” to ask him for rain. His mother suggests that he “bring an offering of flowers, potatoes and quinoa for the APU.”

After his fantastical journey to the glacier, Kusikiy is able help bring the rains to Taquile Island. With the coming of the Llama Constellation and the rain, community members spend the night dancing and playing music. The book highlights the importance of actions associated with the agricultural cycle, and how each being and element of the Taquile environment has a purpose in its continuance. It also demonstrates the importance of celebration with the changing of the seasons. Continue reading

October 6th | Week in Review

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Hola a todos,

It is a hard week for many around the country. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and communities. For educators addressing this most recent violence in the classroom, please consider referring to Scholastic’s Resources for parents and educators for talking to children about the Las Vegas shooting. “No matter where you reside, it’s likely the young people you know will see the news headlines on television and online.” Like the quote says, it doesn’t matter where a person resides, children will be affected and classrooms should address this issue regardless of the subject being taught.

You might also consider this article addressing how to Harness Effects of Negative News on Young People using Literacy for Healing. “The right books and stories can open doors for meaningful conversations and propel young people toward civic engagement.”

And as we acknowledge Las Vegas, so we also acknowledge the ongoing recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico. For those who embrace this as a teachable moment, here is an excellent syllabus of essential tools for critical thinking about the Puerto Rican debt crisis.

Finally, for those who are turning the page to other conversations, here is a smattering of other recent resources and materials:

  • In a moment when traumatic stories and experiences are forefront, it’s important to take a moment and offer students a celebratory perspective of their cultures. Classroom Communities shared a personal note in this regard with their article on “Celebrating through Stories” during Hispanic Heritage Month.  “As a young African-American girl it was hard for me during the month of February when I felt that Black History month was spent learning about slavery and hardship. The celebratory aspect was often lost for me. As a teacher I have tremendous power over how students feel during these months of celebration. In our classroom community we choose to celebrate stories, authors, and people who represent this rich culture of beauty and strength.”
  • Remezcla’s 10 Books With Well-Developed, Complex Afro-Latino Characters.
  • Rethinking Schools shared how you can take the fight against white supremacy into schools. “…But more than that, we need a history that helps us learn how to move beyond tearing down statues and toward tearing down the racist system that those statues represent.”
  • For more resources for Hispanic Heritage Month, Colorín Colorado has a great book list for elementary schools.
  • If you would like to teach about Indigenous people, consider using animated shorts that celebrate 11 of Mexico’s Indigenous Languages.
  • Latinx in Kid Lit flipped the script and shared A Letter from Young Adult Readers to Latinx Writers About Race, Gender, and Other Issues. “I asked students to create suggestions of what they hoped to see in Latinx literature for youth. What follows is a list of suggestions gathered from our collective conversation and survey of Latinx literature for youth, including comments composed by my students for those who are currently writing and those who hope to write for young readers. Students also kept in mind those in publishing and award committees.”
  • And as a last note to send us with positive thoughts for the day, there are beautiful new books swirling around in the blogging world right now. A few that caught our eye:
    • From Latinx in Kid Lit, a book review of Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad, written by Emma Otheguy and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. “The back cover features an actual portrait of José Martí, and a quote: ‘And let us never forget that the greater the suffering, the greater the right to justice, and that the prejudices of men and social inequalities cannot prevail over the equality which nature has created’…beyond Cuba, Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad comes at an important time when even young readers are thinking about how we might make the world a more just place.”
    • From LGBTQ Reads, an interview with Anna-Marie McLemore, author of Wild Beauty, of which the author writes that “Wild Beauty is my bi Latina girls and murderous, enchanted gardens book. It’s the story in which I gave myself permission to go all in with the feel and setting of a fairy tale, but with the focus on the kind of girls we often see left out of fairy tales.”

 Image: We Can End Gun Violence. Reprinted from PA PENN Live under CC©.

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Writers’ Words: Edwidge Danticat

Claire of the Sealight Danticat

¡Buenos días!

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday! In celebration of this month’s featured book, Claire of the Sea Light, I’ve brought you a visual quote by Edwidge Danticat.

I hope you enjoy it!

¡Saludos!
Kalyn

Writers’ Words: Margarita Engle

Engle Quote

¡Buenos días!

I hope everyone is enjoying Spring Break! This month’s visual quote comes from Margarita Engle’s novel, Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings. I hope you like it!

¡Saludos!
Kalyn

Writers’ Words: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Names on a Map Saenz Continue reading

Reading Roundup: 10 Children’s Books about Latino Winter Celebrations

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¡Buenos días! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! This month I’ve compiled a list of children’s books about winter festivities celebrated in Latin America and Latino communities in the United States. Here at Vamos a Leer we have tons of resources for teaching Latin American and Latino holiday traditions in the classroom. Many of them have been compiled under the heading “Las Posadas,” given that we’ve found many search engines that bring people here just for that topic. Below I’ve compiled a list of ten exemplary books that can help you explore the topic further with your students. I hope you enjoy reading these books as much as I did!

Saludos y felices fiestas,
Kalyn  Continue reading

Writers’ Words: Marie Arana

American Chica¡Buenos días!

Today I’ve created a visual quote for you from Marie Arana’s American Chica, this week’s featured book.

I hope you like it!

Saludos,
Kalyn

Reading Roundup: 10 Books About Indigenous Peoples of Latin America

Nov 2015 Indigenous Peoples

¡Buenos días!

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving! The Reading Roundup I’ve created this month involves books about Indigenous peoples of Latin America. With all of the stereotyped Pilgrims and Indians floating around, I hope that these books can be of use in the classroom for depicting a more accurate view of Native peoples and cultures in the Americas. I personally enjoyed reading and writing about these books, and I hope you enjoy them too!

Saludos,
Kalyn

Continue reading

Writers’ Words: Sonia Nazario

 

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¡Buenos días!

I hope everyone’s having a great week! This month’s featured book is Enrique’s Journey, by Sonia Nazario. As a way to explore the significant themes that the book encompasses, I made this image with a quote about chance and the role that it continuously plays in our lives.

Saludos!
Kalyn