Dance, Nana, Dance / Baila, Nana, Baila

These folk stories teach the deep-hearted wisdom of the Cuban people.

Join the discussion of Dance, Nana, Dance / Baila, Nana, Baila as well as other books set in Cuba on our My Take/Your Take page.

My Name is Celia/Me Llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/La Vida de Celia Cruz

An exuberant picture-book biography of the Cuban-born salsa singer. From its rhythmic opening, the first-person narrative dances readers through Cruz’s youth in Havana, a childhood bounded by scents of nature and home, the sweet taste of sugar, and the sound of music. A singer from an early age, Cruz sang so continually that one of her teachers finally urged her to share her voice with the world. Thus encouraged, she entered competitions, undeterred when her racial heritage prevented her from competing – undeterred, even, when the advent of Castro’s communist regime forced her to leave Cuba as a refugee. Positive even in exile, Cruz made New York City her own and took Miami by storm. The salsa-influenced prose presented in English and in Spanish is followed by a straightforward vita of the singer, noting her death in July 2003. Lopez’s distinguished, luminous acrylic paintings are alive with motion, lush with brilliantly layered colors, and informed with verve and symbolism. This is a brilliant introduction to a significant woman and her music. The only enhancement required is the music itself.

My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood

Relates events in the childhood of architect Secundino Fernandez, who left his beloved Havana, Cuba, with his parents, first to spend a year in Spain, and later to move to New York City.

The Secret Of The Yellow Death: A True Story Of Medical Sleuthing

Red oozes from the patient’s gums.  He has a rushing headache and the whites of his eyes look like lemons. He will likely die within days. Here is the true story of how four Americans and one Cuban tracked down a killer, one of the word’s most vicious plagues: yellow fever.  Set in fever-stricken Cuba, the reader feels the heavy air, smell the stench of disease, hear the whine of mosquitoes biting human volunteers during the surreal experiments. Exploring themes of courage, cooperation, and the ethics of human experimentation, this gripping account is ultimately a story of the triumph of science.       

The Red Umbrella

The Red Umbrellais the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl’s journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan-an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro’s revolution.   In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Luciacute;a Aacute;lvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.   As the revolution’s impact becomes more oppressive, Luciacute;a’s parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States-on their own.   Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Luciacute;a struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will sheeversee her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?   The Red Umbrellais a moving story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.

Muu, Moo!: Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)

This bilingual collection of traditional animal nursery rhymes from Spain, Latin America, and the United States is sure to delight readers young and old. Includes 17 poems handpicked by Ada and Campoy, along with five of their own original poems.

The Rooster Who Went to His Uncle’s Wedding

Rooster, en route to his uncle’s wedding, struggles with the dilemma of whether he should risk of getting dirty in order to obtain a kernel of corn. His hunger overcomes his better judgment and, of course, he winds up “. . . with a beak full of mud.” This leads into a cumulative tale that will be familiar to anyone who knows “The Old Woman and Her Pig” or any number of its variants. In this case, his quest to get clean is nicely circular: the sun, just coming up as the book begins, is the one who agrees to break the chain of refusal, to repay the rooster for greeting him each morning.

Join the discussion of The Rooster Who Went to His Uncle’s Wedding as well as other books set in Cuba on our My Take/Your Take page.

Raining Sardines

Wealthy landowner Don Rigol practically owns the town. To expand his coffee plantation, he will lay waste the mountain jungle and the secret valley where the ancient breed of Paso Fino horses roams wild. Best friends Enriquito and Ernestina search for a way to save the ponies, ensure justice at a trumped-up trial, and reclaim the mountain for their people. Magical realism