Hello, Amigos!

Extends a warm invitation to share Frankie Valdez’s birthday and to sample his culture’s traditional festivities.

F Is For Fiesta

From adornos (decorations) going up all over the house, biscochitos (cupcakes) baking in the oven, and a special treat of churros (doughnut sticks) for breakfast, this can only be the beginning of a fabulous cumpleaños (birthday)! As the alphabet continues, the story highlights fun elements of a boy’s never-ending birthday celebration, including entries for ch, ll, ñ, and rr that make this a truly Latino ABC fiesta.

Clever verse and exuberant illustrations make the meaning of each Spanish word clear, and an author’s note explains the difference between the English and Spanish alphabets.

N Is for Navidad

Bienvenidos! to a celebration of Christmas, Latino-style! From the ngel (angel) hung above the door to the zapatos (shoes) filled with grass for the wise men s camels, each letter in this festive alphabet introduces children to a Spanish word, and each colorful page takes them through another joyous aspect of the 22 days of the traditional holiday. Vibrant art from acclaimed illustrator Joe Cepeda beautifully complements the lively, rhythmic text to bring the reader a wealth of heritage and a season of light! Feliz Navidad!

Three Little Tamales

While three little tamales cool off on a windowsill, a tortilla rolls by. “You’ll be eaten. You’d better run,” he tells them. And so the tamales jump out the window. The first runs to the prairie and builds a house of sagebrush. The second runs to a cornfield and builds a house of cornstalks. The third runs to the desert and builds a house of cactus. Then who should come along but Senior Lobo, the Big Bad Wolf, with plans to blow their houses down. Valeria Docampo’s oil-and-pencil illustrations add zest and humor to this rollicking southwestern version of a popular tale.

Quinceanera: English-Language Edition

You are invited to the biggest party of Cindy Chvez’s life. In text and gorgeous color photos, Elizabeth King takes us to this joyous, once-in-a-lifetime event–the quinceañera. It is the celebration of a Latina’s fifteenth birthday, a coming-of-age ritual in which a community welcomes its newest adult member with a church service, a feast, and dancing. The tradition, which has its roots in Aztec and Mexican custom, is popular in the United States. With a lavish dress, an honor court of friends, a big cake, and a night filled with music, the quinceañera is a chance for a young woman to feel like a queen. But there are solemn, quiet moments, too, particularly at the Mass held before the party. The history, significance, and fun of the quinceañera are warmly recounted in this lovely book. It is an inviting glimpse at a part of American culture for newcomers to the tradition, and a special scrapbook for those anticipating or remembering their own quinceañera.

Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (Pura Belpre Medal Book Illustrator (Awards))

In this original trickster tale, Senor Calavera arrives unexpectedly at Grandma Beetle’s door. He requests that she leave with him right away. “Just a minute,” Grandma Beetle tells him. She still has one house to sweep, two pots of tea to boil, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas – and that’s just the start! Using both Spanish and English words to tally the party preparations, Grandma Beetle cleverly delays her trip and spends her birthday with a table full of grandchildren and her surprise guest. This spirited tribute to the rich traditions of Mexican culture is the perfect introduction to counting in both English and Spanish. The vivacious illustrations and universal depiction of a family celebration are sure to be adored by young readers everywhere.

What Can You Do With a Rebozo?

A cradle for baby, a superhero’s cape, a warm blanket on a cool night–there are so many things you can do with a rebozo. Through the eyes of a young girl, readers are introduced to the traditional shawl found in many Mexican and Mexican-American households. Lively rhymes and illustrations as brightly colored as the woven cloths themselves celebrate a warm cultural icon that, with a little imagination, can be used in many different ways.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 3, Issue 2

Goodnight, Papito Dios / Buenas noches, Papito Dios

“Papá, I don’t want to go to sleep. I’m scared.” Everyone knows that the trick to putting children to bed is creating a bedtime routine, and in this new children’s story from Victor Villaseñor, he recreates his own family’s bedtime tradition. Papá tells his son that every night when he was a boy, his mother would sing him to sleep with the turtledove song. “Coo-coo-roo-coo-coooo,” he sings, and tells the little boy about his very own Guardian Angel who will take him through the night sky to be reunited with God, or Papito Dios. “Then in the morning, you’ll come back refreshed, rested, and powerful as the wind.” As Papá sings the turtledove song to his son, he reminds the child that Mamá loves him, the dog and the cat love him, and his brothers and sisters love him too. Even the trees and grass and the flowers that dance in the wind love him. Gradually, the boy drifts off to sleep, feeling safe and warm in God\’s love and dreaming of the day when he will sing the turtledove song to his own children.

Rene has two Last Names / Rene tiene dos apellidos

Young Rene is from El Salvador, and he doesn’t understand why his name has to be different in the United States. When he writes Colato, he sees his paternal grandparents, Rene and Amelia. When he writes Lainez, he sees his maternal grandparents, Angela and Julio. His new classmates giggle when Rene tells them his long name. So when the students are given a project to create a family tree, Rene is determined to explain the importance of using both of his last names. On the day of his presentation, Rene explains that he is as hard working as Abuelo Rene, who is a farmer, and as creative as his Abuela Amelia, who is a potter. He can tell stories like his Abuelo Julio and enjoys music like his Abuela Angela.

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.

    My Abuelita

    Abuelita’s hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. She stuffs her carcacha–her jalopy–with all the things she needs: a plumed snake, a castle, a skeleton, and more. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever–with a very important job. With her booming voice and wonderful props, Abuelita is a storyteller. Next to being a grandmother, that may be the most important job of all. Sprinkled with Spanish and infused with love, My Abuelita is a glorious celebration of family, imagination, and the power of story.

    See the review in WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 1.