Wednesday, September 23, 2009

René's Website

My character René has his own website! Discover more about my new book René Has Two Last Names and I Am René, the Boy. René talks about his looks, his favorites, his parents and grandparents. Also, René offers great ideas for teachers. Take a look at René is waiting and eager to meet you.

Here are two great reviews of René Has Two Last Names. The book is coming out this October 31.

René Has Two Last Names/René tiene dos apellidos. illus. by Fabiola Graullera Ramírez. unpaged. Arte Publico. Nov. 2009. Tr $15.95. ISBN 978-1-55885-530-4. LC 2009004864.

K-Gr 3–René, a new student from El Salvador, doesn’t understand why his second last name is missing from his desk’s name label. Adding it results in a name so long that his classmates make fun of it by comparing it to that of a dinosaur. He discusses the problem with his parents, but they don’t have an answer. That night he dreams of a world without a mother and maternal grandparents who dance, make chocolate, and fix his bike. Half of his world is missing and he is not about to let that happen. When his teacher assigns the students the project of creating a family tree, René is determined to show his classmates and teacher why he has two last names and the importance of his dos apellidos. Colato Laínez introduces readers to a significant Hispanic cultural tradition and the sentiments of many immigrants. The illustrations are simple but beautifully embellish the text. A wonderful bilingual selection for storytime and for units on families.–Diana Borrego Martínez, Salinas, CA- School Library Journal/ Críticas

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Colato Laínez, René


Illus. by Fabiola Graullera Ramirez

On the first day in his new school, René’s teacher gives everyone a nametag with their first and last names. Though René’s last name, like many Salvadorans’, has two parts, “Colato Laínez,” his tag reads only “René Colato.” Maybe the teacher ran out of ink? Adding “Laínez” on his own, René is teased about having an unusually “long dinosaur name” but uses the opportunity of a family-tree assignment to instruct everyone, including the teacher, about why both names together represent his full Italian and Spanish heritage. René’s full name proudly reminds him that he is a product of both his father and mother’s family histories, both rich in talent and hard work. Drawing from his personal immigrant experience, the author tells his story in a bilingual narration, his sincere, earnest voice augmented by Graullera Ramírez’s softly colored cartoon-style watercolor scenes of family and classmates. The significance of this Hispanic tradition respecting both sides of a child’s parentage is well explained in this easily understood example of cultural differences. (Picture book. 5-8)- Kirkus Reviews

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