René Colato Laínez
Benito’s Sopaipillas / Las sopaipillas de Benito
by Ana Baca, Anthony Accardo(Illustrator), Carolina Villarroel (Spanish Translator)
Published: April 30, 2007
This tantalizing bilingual picture book for children shares the magical history of a favorite treat
Everyone loves the taste of the puffed pillows of fried bread known as sopaipillas, whether they’re drizzled with honey or sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. But most people, young Cristina included, don’t know about this Southwestern treat’s magical origins, or how it got its name.
One hot summer morning, Cristina’s abuelita promises to teach her how to make the tasty fried bread and explain how she knows that making sopaipillas will bring rain! Long ago, Cristina’s great-grandfather Benito was desperate. His crops were dying because it hadn’t rained for months. One day, exhausted and weak from working the fields, Benito watched in amazement as a scarecrow came to life and begged him to help bring rain. The worried scarecrow claimed to know how. But could a scarecrow—and pieces of dough— really bring rain to the dry and dusty fields? Could Benito really save everyone’s crops?
And so Benito—and many years later his great-granddaughter Cristina—learned about the pillows of bread known as “soup catchers” that, like clouds, catch rain drops and bring them down to earth.
Benito’s Sopaipillas / Las sopaipillas de Benito is a magical bilingual picture book for children aged 3-7 that celebrates a delicious staple of Southwestern cuisine. And for those children who want to test the magic of the sopaipillas, a recipe is included in English and Spanish.
ANA BACA, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the author of Benito’s Bizcochitos / Los bizcochitos de Benito (Piñata Books, 1999) and Chiles for Benito / Chiles para Benito (Piñata Books, 2003) .She graduated from Stanford University (B.A.) and the University of New Mexico (M.A.) with degrees in English Literature. She currently lives and works in New Mexico.
ANTHONY ACCARDO is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including Benito’s Sopaipillas / Los sopaipillas de Benito (Piñata Books, 2007), Chiles for Benito / Chiles para Benito (Piñata Books, 2003), and César Chávez: The Struggle for Justice / César Chávez: La lucha por la justicia (Piñata Books, 2002). He lives and works in Brooklyn.
Mimí’s Parranda / La parranda de Mimí
by Lydia M. Gil, Hernán Sosa(Illustrator)
Published: April 30, 2007
A Puerto Rican holiday tradition comes to life on the pages of this colorful bilingual picture book
Like most young children, Mimí loves Christmas time, so much so that she doesn’t even mind the bitter cold. But while her friends plan to ask for skates, sleds, coats and boots for Christmas, Mimí wants a straw hat, new sandals, a polka-dot bathing suit, and maybe even a beach ball. She’ll need toys and clothing for warm weather because she goes to Puerto Rico every Christmas, and she can’t wait to go again this year!
Mimí especially looks forward to her annual parranda , the Puerto Rican version of Christmas caroling. She loves it when everyone arrives late at night and wakes her up by playing their instruments— güiros ,palitos ,maracas , guitars, tambourines. And the food … she dreams about a table brimming with all her favorites: roasted pork, pasteles, and arroz con leche.
But when she learns that her family won’t be able to go to Puerto Rico this year, Mimí is crushed. She is so sad that she loses interest in her class’s holiday party, and on the day of the party, she decides to stay home in bed. Just as Mimí is falling asleep, though, she hears the unmistakable sounds of musical instruments. Could it be that she’ll get her parranda after all?
Rich with Puerto Rican cultural traditions and complemented by vibrant illustrations, Mimí’s Parranda /La parranda de Mimí will have children ages 3-7 eagerly anticipating their own holiday traditions.
LYDIA M. GIL, a native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, is a teacher and writer. She obtained her Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Texas and her master’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado. This is her first book for children.
HERNÁN SOSA is an illustrator whose work has been published in Queen of the Bean (Shortland Publications, 1999). A native of Argentina, he moved to Paraguay as a young boy. Currently, he lives and works in Denver, Colorado