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MTYT: Rabbit and the Motorbike

Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Patricia Castrodad, Caguas, Puerto Rico

In addition to the many ways we have all experienced the loss of loved ones, this year of turmoil has brought collective death front and center. From Black lives taken by police brutality to those lost in recent fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters to the approximately 1 million lost worldwide to Covid-19, death surrounds us. This week, we continue to look at books that put emotions at the heart of their stories. Rabbit and the Motorbike offers a gentle yet poignant look at what happens when we lose a loved one and the many feelings we face in moving forward.

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MTYT: Small Things

Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Patricia Castrodad, Caguas, Puerto Rico

Last week we started our theme of Emotions by exploring a child’s question: Why Do We Cry?. This week, Small Things invites us to look more deeply at one of those reasons–anxiety–and the ways that the accompanying emotions play out in the day-to-day life of a child.

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MTYT: Why Do We Cry?


Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Patricia Castrodad, Caguas, Puerto Rico

2020 has certainly brought with it many challenges–a global pandemic, many natural disasters, and the loss of more Black and Brown lives to police brutality just to name a few. We, (Patricia in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and Dorea in Tucson, Arizona struggled to come up with a theme that could even possibly begin to touch on all that we are currently experiencing. As we shared stories of what was happening in each of our home contexts, we recognized that while specific events are tied to 2020, the bigger context and varied emotions that accompany each of these are not unique to this year and have, in fact, been part of our worlds for a long time. This month, we turn our attention to four picture books, Why Do We Cry?, Small Things, Rabbit and the Motorbike and Rabbit Listened, that explore emotions not as simple categories such as “happy” and “sad” that can be easily remedied but rather, as complex and dynamic, with no single road map with which to experience them.

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MTYT: Alicia’s Fruity Drinks/Las aguas frescas de Alicia

By María V. Acevedo-Aquino and Myriam Jimena Guerra, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

This last week of September Myriam Jimena and María talk about their final book authored and/or illustrated by Lupe Ruiz-Flores and Carolyn Dee Flores. The main character, Alicia, will remind young readers that children can support peers and adults to develop new awarenesses.


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MTYT: Lupita’s First Dance/El primer baile de Lupita

By María V. Acevedo-Aquino and Myriam Jimena Guerra, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Myriam Jimena and María present this week a fourth book authored and/or illustrated by Lupe Ruiz-Flores and Carolyn Dee Flores. They invite readers to reflect upon their experiences with music and dance: Have you experienced music and dance as tools or parts of your identities? Or both?

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MTYT: Let’s Salsa/Bailemos salsa

By María V. Acevedo-Aquino and Myriam Jimena Guerra, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Myriam Jimena and María have three more bilingual books authored and/or illustrated by Lupe Ruiz-Flores and Carolyn Dee Flores. From now on, readers will notice that each book depicts brave female characters ready to advocate for themselves and others.


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MTYT: A Surprise for Teresita/Una sorpresa para Teresita

By María V. Acevedo-Aquino and Myriam Jimena Guerra, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

This week, Myriam Jimena and María continue to analyze books authored and/or illustrated by Lupe Ruiz-Flores and Carolyn Dee Flores. A Surprise for Teresita/Una sorpresa para Teresita, is the only book this month written by a third author, Virginia Sanchez-Korrol, so they paid close attention to Carolyn Dee Flores’ luminous artwork.


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MTYT: The Amazing Watercolor Fish/El asombroso pez acurela

By María V. Acevedo-Aquino and Myriam Jimena Guerra, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

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This month Myriam Jimena and María explore the contributions of two authors of children’s literature living in San Antonio, TX: Lupe Ruiz-Flores and Carolyn Dee Flores (mother and daughter). The five bilingual books selected depict strong characters willing to take action to improve their own lives and communities. This week they look at two fish who will rely on each other to imagine and hope in The Amazing Watercolor Fish/El asombroso pez acurela.

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MTYT: The War Outside

By Michele Ebersole, University of Hawaii, Hilo, HI, and Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Michele and Yoo Kyung continue on the theme of Rethinking Cultural and Physical Borders in Children’s Literature: Understanding Today’s Global Politics Through History. This week, they look at The War Outside by Monica Hesse.

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MTYT: They Called Us Enemy

By Michele Ebersole, University of Hawaii, Hilo, HI, and Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Michele and Yoo Kyung continue on the theme of Rethinking Cultural and Physical Borders in Children’s Literature: Understanding Today’s Global Politics Through History. This week, they look at They Called Us Enemy by George Takei.

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