Ninez: Spanish Songs, Games, And Stories Of Childhood

More than forty verses, games and stories of Spanish childhood folklore have been collected by the author from research based largely on archival materials gathered by WPA writers in the 1930s and in current interviews. A number of the pieces can be traced directly to Spain and were brought to America by early explorers and settlers. They serve as a link between the old and new worlds–a way to retain cultural and historical memory and transmit it to succeeding generations. Many interesting variations have occurred over the centuries, always the way with true folklore, as children have played the games and the stories have been told and retold. Literal translations, rules for playing the games and music for some of them are included. Winner of the Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association.

The Travel Game

Tad and his aunt Hattie take an imaginary trip to Hong Kong. Armed with a globe, an illustrated almanac, and their imaginations, Tad and Aunt Hattie play the travel game. They ride elephants in India, escape deadly piranhas in the Amazon River, and hail a water taxi to visit the beautiful boat city of Hong Kong—all without leaving the apartment above the family tailor shop in Buffalo, New York. This funny, affectionate story is based on author John Grandits’s own childhood experiences. The charming and highly detailed illustrations will encourage children to play their own version of the travel game.

Playing Loteria / El juego de la loteria

A boy has a good time attending a fair with his grandmother in San Luis de La Paz, Mexico, as she teaches him Spanish words and phrases and he teaches her English.

Read more about Playing Loteria in Volume 1, Issue 3 of WOW Review: Reading Across Cultures.

This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!

CAPOEIRA—it’s a game, a dance, a martial art! It’s a way of expressing oneself through movement and music. With action-packed photographs and accessible text, readers are introduced to this exciting, popular game. At Madinga Academy in Oakland, California, a group of girls and boys practice the acrobatic moves of capoeira. Then they begin to play games to the infectious, rhythmic beat of traditional music and singing. On to Brazil to experience capoeira in its historic birthplace, where it dates back four hundred years. Capoeira developed as a way of fighting among enslaved Africans, was outlawed the the government, and was permitted once again in 1930 as a martial art and game. Back in Oakland, at an end-of-year ceremony, students receive their colored ropes indicating their levels of accomplishment. They also look forward to next year, and the fun of expressing themselves through the game, dance and martial art of capoeira.

Word Nerd

Twelve-year-old Ambrose is a glass-half-full kind of guy. A self-described “friendless nerd,” he moves from place to place every couple of years with his overprotective mother, Irene. When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich — even though they know he has a deathly allergy — Ambrose is philosophical. Irene, however, is not and decides that Ambrose will be home-schooled.Alone in the evenings when Irene goes to work, Ambrose pesters Cosmo, the twenty-five-year-old son of the Greek landlords who live upstairs. Cosmo has just been released from jail for breaking and entering to support a drug habit. Quite by accident, Ambrose discovers that they share a love of Scrabble and coerces Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where Cosmo falls for Amanda, the club director. Posing as Ambrose’s Big Brother to impress her, Cosmo is motivated to take Ambrose to the weekly meetings and to give him lessons in self-defense. Cosmo, Amanda, and Ambrose soon form an unlikely alliance and, for the first time in his life, Ambrose blossoms. The characters at the Scrabble Club come to embrace Ambrose for who he is and for their shared love of words. There’s only one problem: Irene has no idea what Ambrose is up to.In this brilliantly observed novel, author Susin Nielsen transports the reader to the world of competitive Scrabble as seen from the honest yet funny viewpoint of a boy who’s searching for acceptance and for a place to call home.

Dominoes around the World

In this unique collection of ten domino games from countries as diverse as Mexico, Vietnam, and France, the creators of the bestselling Hopscotch Around the World and Christmas Around the World clearly explain domino basics, then show young readers all sorts of ways to improve their math, memory, and thinking skills — just by playing dominoes!

Jacks around the World

This lively collection contains ingriguing, fast-moving games of jacks from countries as varied as Zimbabwe, Israel, Singapore, and the United States. The introduction to each of the 13 countries is packed with interesting facts, while easy-to-follow rules invite readers to play Cinco Marias (Brazil), Maakgep (Thailand), and other fun-filled games.

Epic

Generations ago, violence was banned on New Earth. Society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. Everyone plays. If you win, you have the chance to go to university, get more supplies for your community, and fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing. When Erik, seeking revenge for the unjust treatment of his parents, dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends find themselves up against with the ultimate masters of the game: the Committee. If Erik and his friends win, they may have the key to destroying Epic’s tyranny over New Earth. But if they lose . . .