Under The Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba

In this companion volume to Alma Flor Ada’s Where the Flame Trees Bloom, the author offers young readers another inspiring collection of stories and reminiscences drawn from her childhood on the island of Cuba. Through those stories we see how the many events and relationships she enjoyed helped shape who she is today. We learn of a deep friendship with a beloved dance teacher that helped sustain young Alma Flor through a miserable year in school. We meet relatives, like her mysterious Uncle Manolo, whose secret, she later learns, is that he dedicated his life to healing lepers. We share the tragedy of another uncle whose spirited personality leads to his love of flying…and the crash that takes his life. Heartwarming, poignant, and often humorous, this collection encourages children to discover the stories in their our own lives — stories that can help inform their own values and celebrate the joys and struggles we all share no matter where or when we grew up.

Join the discussion of Under the Royal Palms as well as other books by Alma Flor Ada in Margarita Engle on our My Take/Your Take page.

The Moon is La Luna: Silly Rhymes in English And Spanish

This book is full of monos, ratons, and osos. What’s that, you say? You don’t know what a mono is? What about a rio, some pelo, or even an árbol? No? Still no idea? You should read this libro, then. By the time you finish, you’ll be able to recognize and understand more than fifty simple Spanish words. You’ll be saying, “Mas, por favor!” You may even ask your papá to buy you a gato or pato. (But not your papa. Potatoes can’t buy pets.)