The Day of the Dead, El día de los Muertos

Follow two children as they celebrate their ancestors on this vibrant holiday. They offer marigolds, sugar skulls, and special bread, and make delicious foods. By spreading marigold petals, they guide the dead home to join the festivities. Finally, after singing and dancing, it’s time for bed. Bob Barner’s luscious collages incorporate the traditional symbols of Day of the Dead. His poetic text is both English and Spanish. An author’s note provides additional information on the holiday.

The Runaway Piggy / El cochinito fugitivo

The sun shines through the windows of Marthazs Panadería onto the shelves of freshly baked treats. The bakery holds tray after tray of hot Mexican sweet breadzconchas, orejas, cuernitos, empanadas, and cochinitoszall ready for hungry customers. In the classic tradition of The Gingerbread Man, James Lunazs piggy cookie leaps off the baking tray and takes the reader on a mad dash through the barrio, past Lorenzozs Auto Shop, Nitazs Beauty Salon, Letizs Flower Shop, and Juanazs Thrift Shop. The telephone repairman, the bus driver z each person the piggy encounters is greeted by his laugh and the repeated refrain: zChase me! Chase me down the street! But this is one piggy you wonzt get to eat! I ran away from the others and Izll run away from you!z The cochinito fugitivo avoids being eaten by the long line of people chasing him through the neighborhood streets z until he meets a crafty little girl named Rosa!Childrenzand adults toozwill delight in the clever piggyzs escape from Marthazs Panadería in this entertaining re-telling of a familiar story set in a colorful Latino neighborhood. A recipe to make Mexican gingerbread pig cookies is included in both English and Spanish.

The Battle Of The Show Cones / La Guerra de las Raspas

It was so hot in Caliente, Texas, that the townspeople gulped gallons of lemonade and poured buckets of water over their heads, but they couldnzt stay cool.Swinging on the front porch with her mother, Elena suddenly has an idea. Raspaszicy cold snow coneszare what the neighbors need to stay cool. And she can make and sell the refreshing treats from a stand in her own front yard! So with the help of her parents, Elena soon has a stand and the items needed to make and sell the snow cones. Before long everyone is lining up to buy the frosty delights in delicious flavors.Elenazs best friend Alma watches her friendzs success from across the street and decides to start her own snow cone stand. And so begins the battle of the snow cones, with each girl devising ever more elaborate plans to attract clients: decorating their stands with colorful Mexican crepe paper flowers and papel picado, adding exotic flavors such as coconut and mango to their menus, staging puppet shows and even a folkloric dance. The girlsz ice shaving machines furiously crank out raspas, until one day both machines go bonkers! Readers will enjoy the girlsz clever antics to attract customers in this lively, colorful picture book for children ages 4 z 8. And just as important, children will learnzalong with Elena and Almazthat competitors can still be friends.

Grandma’s Chocolate / El chocolate de abuelita

Abuelazs visits from Mexico are always full of excitement for young Sabrina. She canzt wait to see whatzs in her grandmotherzs yellow suitcase covered in stickers from all the places she has visited. Opening it is like opening a treasure chest, and this year is no different. Inside are a host of riches. zAbuelita, do you want to play a game? Letzs pretend that Izm a princess,z Sabrina says. zOkay, Sabrina,z Abuela says, zbut a Mayan princess should wear a beautiful dress called a huipil.z And she pulls the traditional garment worn by Mayan and Aztec women from her suitcase.Sabrina has lots of questions about her ancestors. Did Mayan princesses have money? Did they go to school? Did they eat chocolate ice cream? With her grandmotherzs help, Sabrina learns all about the cacao tree, which was first cultivated by Mexicozs indigenous tribes. Today, seeds from the cacao tree give us chocolate, but years ago the seeds were so valuable they were used as money. And Moctezuma, the Aztec emperor, liked to eat chocolate poured over bowls of snow brought from the mountains! Sabrina discovers that zchocolate is perfect for a Mayan princess.z And children ages 4-8 are sure to agree as they curl up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and this charming bilingual picture book that depicts a loving relationship between grandmother and granddaughter and shares the history and customs of the native peoples of Mexico.

A Gift from Papá Diego / Un regalo de papá Diego

A border is nothing for people who love.””Sensitively told and true to the experience of many Mexican Americans, this bilingual picture book bridges the borders that separate all families who must live far apart from their loved ones.” -Booklist”…accompanied by innovative illustrations, originally modeled with clay. Reminiscent of Mexican folk art, they fit the story especially well, conveying its warmth and poignancy.” -Kirkus Reviews”A tender love story of a book…a kiss on the forehead at bedtime!” -Naomi Shihab Nye”A stylist in both poetry and prose, Sáenz has now taken his magic of flight to younger readers. This is his gift to them. Parents, snuggle up to your children at night and read this delightful tale of Dieguito.” -Gary Soto”La traduccíon al español es buena y el diseño del libro es atractivo.” -People en Español”The tender story in A Gift From Papá Diego / Un regalo de Papá Diego by Benjamin Alire Saenz is sprinkled with Spanish expressions throughout the English version, adding to the flavor of this bilingual tale. A glossary of the terms used is provided at the end of the book. In addition, a complete Spanish text is printed on each half page. Illustrations of wonderful clay figures painted with bright colors highlight the narrative and provide an attractive graphic border. This paperback original is a debut into the world of children’s books for Mr. Saenz, and he has succeeded in writing a poignant read-aloud book for young children – at once entertaining and comforting.”¿Barbara Bonds ThomasBenjamin Alire Sáenz was born in his grandmother¿s house in Picacho, New Mexico¿a farming village 40 miles north of the border between Mexico and the United States. Ben¿s parents spoke mostly Spanish at home and his grandparents spoke only Spanish, so Ben learned much of his English from his brothers and sisters, his friends, and by watching cartoons on television. When he was a little boy, he was a passionate reader of comic books¿Superman, Spiderman, Batman, and all the rest of the Super Heros. Ben thought it was cool that Superman could fly. Growing up, Ben discovered that he liked to write. He liked to draw and paint, too.