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.
Long ago in what would come to be called Mexico, as Mama Alma and her granddaughter, Bella, recall happy times while walking in the garden they have tended together since Bella was a baby, Mama Alma asks that after she is gone her family remember her on one special day each year. Includes facts about The Remembering Day, El dia de los muertos.
Lily Lujan is known as Little Chanclas because she wears her chanclas, or flip flops, wherever she goes, especially to parties, so when the chanclas come apart while she is dancing at a family barbecue and Chewcho the bulldog eats one, Lily is inconsolable until Granny Lola arrives with a solution.
An adaptation of the song “The wheels on the bus,” written in Spanish and English, which follows two children who see and hear a train, a fire truck, an ambulance, and other vehicles on their way to an amusement park. Includes music.
Simple rhyming, repetitive text describes “the place where you live,” from the warm and sunny kitchen smelling of tortillas and hot chocolate to the yard, neighbors, school, library, and front porch.
“When a little girl’s cherished baby blanket becomes old and worn, it is made into a dress, and over the years it is made into even smaller and smaller items, eventually ending up as a bookmark and inspiring the creation of a book. Includes an author’s note and a glossary.”
Five-year-old Ariel wants a very simple birthday celebration at the park with bean and cheese tacos and bubbles, despite his older brother Dario’s preference for big birthday parties.
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 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.
When Carlitos’ mother and the other janitors go on strike for higher wages, Carlitos cannot think of a way to support his mother until he sees her on TV making a speech, and he then gets his class to help him make a sign to show his pride.