Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems On Growing Up Hispanic In The United States (Edge Books)

Growing up Latino in America means speaking two languages, living two lives, learning the rules of two cultures. Cool Salsa celebrates the tones, rhythms, sounds, and experiences of that double life. Here are poems about families and parties, insults and sad memories, hot dogs and mangos, the sweet syllables of Spanish and the snag-toothed traps of English. Here is the glory, and pain, of being Latino American.Latino Americans hail from Cuba and California, Mexico and Michigan, Nicaragua and New York, and editor Lori M. Carlson has made sure to capture all of those accents. With poets such as Sandra Cisneros, Martiacute;n Espada, Gary Soto, and Ed Vega, and a very personal introduction by Oscar Hijuelos, this collection encompasses the voices of Latino America. By selecting poems about the experiences of teenagers, Carlson has given a focus to that rich diversity; by presenting the poems both in their original language and in translation, she has made them available to us all.As you move from memories of red wagons, to dreams of orange trees, to fights with street gangs, you feel Cool Salsa’s musical and emotional cross rhythms. Here is a world of exciting poetry for you, y tuacute; tambieacute;n.

Calling The Doves/El Canto De Las Palomas: El Canto De Las Palomas

In this bilingual autobiography, the Mexican American poet Juan Felipe Herrera describes his childhood in California as the son of migrant workers. The author recalls his childhood in the mountains and valleys of California with his farmworker parents who inspired him with poetry and song. A rich, personal narrative about growing up as a migrant farmworker. Herrera relates how he learned to love the land from his father, and poetry from his mother. He uses lyrical passages to portray everyday life, e.g., the ritual of breakfast: The sky was my blue spoon – the wavy clay of the land was my plate. The colored-pencil and acrylic illustrations are bright and at times fanciful. Simmon’s artwork brings to life Herrera’s words, which are printed in both English and Spanish.

Home At Last

Ana Patino is adjusting well to her new life in the United States, but her mother is having problems because she doesn’t know English. When one of the babies falls ill, Mama tries to get help, but no one can understand her. Convinced that she needs to learn the new language, Mama agrees to take English lessons. As Mama gains new language skills, she also develops a sense of confidence and belonging.

Big Bushy Mustache

bushyIt’s almost Cinco de Mayo, and Ricky’s class is going to put on a play to celebrate the festive Mexican holiday. When asked to choose his costume, Ricky picks a big, bushy mustache, just like his dad’s. He’s tired of everyone telling him he looks like his mother. After all, he’s a boy–he wants to look like his Papi. Although he’s supposed to leave it in school, Ricky wears the mustache home, reveling all the way in how grown-up it makes him feel. But by the time he gets there, the mustache is gone, and Ricky dreads having to tell his teacher what happened.