El Baile De Octavo Y Otros Recuerdos =

Eleven-year-old Ada De Jesús was on the cusp of her teens when she moved to the United States from Puerto Rico. Hurricane Hugo had just decimated the island and her father couldn’t find a job. In Chicago, the white dress she arrived in didn’t protect her from the snow and frigid temperatures! Constantly exposed to new things, she developed a resilience that served her well. “From one place to another, like riding a bike, if you keep pedaling, you won’t fall.” Ada discovered that students in the United States were frequently disrespectful to their teachers. At school she often felt like a two-year-old as she grappled with a completely new language. In addition to navigating a different culture, she had to deal with all the issues familiar to teenage girls: the growth of body hair, pimples, menstruation and burgeoning feelings for the opposite sex. Her memories of first intimate encounters, fending off unwanted advances and fear of pregnancy will strike a chord with readers. In these short vignettes recollecting her middle-school years, Ada De Jesús shares her poignant and often funny experiences as a newcomer and an adolescent. Young readers will relate to—and laugh at—her experiences; some may take heart that they too will overcome the difficulties common at this age.

Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem (Bilingual Cooking Poems)

A young boy and his sister gather the ingredients and grind them up in a molcajete, just like their ancestors used to do, singing and dancing all the while. The children imagine that their ingredients are different parts of an orchestra, the tomatoes are bongos and kettledrums, the onion, a maraca, the cloves of garlic, trumpets and the cilantro, the conductor. They chop and then grind these ingredients in the molcajete, along with red chili peppers for the “hotness” that is so delicious, finally adding a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt. When they are finished, their mother warms tortillas and their father lays out plates, as the whole family, including the cat and dog, dance salsa in mouth-watering anticipation.

The Desert Is My Mother / El Desierto Es Mi Madre

The first bilingual picture book published under the Pinata Books imprint in 1994, Pat Mora’s ode to the desert is finally available in paperback format. The Desert Is My Mother creates a beautiful poetic and artistic rendition of the relationship between people and nature. Rather than being an expanse empty of life and value, the desert is lovingly presented as the provider of comfort, food, spirit, and life.