Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Bilingual Titles From Piñata Books/ Arte Publico Press

Do You Know the Cucuy? / ¿Conoces al Cucuy?
by Claudia Galindo
Jonathan Coombs (Illustrator)
John Pluecker (English Translator)

ISBN: 1558854924
Price: $15.95
Bind: Hardcover
Published: May 31, 2008
Pages: 32
Ages: 3-7

This entertaining bilingual picture book for children introduces the legendary—and usually scary—Cucuy

“The Cucuy is a tall, furry, three-eyed, four-armed monster with a mouth full of huge teeth,” Papo tells his granddaughter. And, he warns, if she doesn’t behave, the Cucuy will take her away!

She used to be afraid of the Cucuy, until one day she meets him and learns that he is not the frightful beast her grandfather described. Instead, he’s cute and likes to play. His fur is blue, and his teeth are small. He may not be just like her, but he does have two arms and two eyes. And the Cucuy also likes to play catch, blow bubbles, and eat candy. Best of all, though, the young girl learns that he doesn’t kidnap naughty children!

First-time children’s book author Claudia Galindo and illustrator Jonathan Coombs vividly bring to life a character known to generations of Latino children. Although this time, the Cucuy isn’t a scary monster but instead is a fun playmate.

CLAUDIA GALINDO attended the University of North Texas, where she received a degree in Journalism and a Masters in Education. She is currently a teacher in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her family.

JONATHAN COOMBS, a video game artist, lives and works in Utah. This is his first children’s book.

JOHN PLUECKER received his undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies from Yale University and his master’s degree in Spanish at the University of Houston in 2007. His fiction and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Julie Mango, Alta Noche, and New Texas, and his non-fiction has appeared in Clamor Magazine and El Diario de Tampico.

Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana
by Gwendolyn Zepeda
April Ward (Illustrator)
Gabriela Baeza Ventura (Translator)

ISBN: 1558854932
Price: $15.95
Bind: Hardcover
Published: May 31, 2008
Pages: 32
Ages: 3-7

This charming bilingual picture book for children examines sibling rivalry and an important Hispanic tradition

“My name is Ana. Every year, my family makes tamales for Christmas. This year, I am six, so I get to mix the dough, which is made of cornmeal. My sister Lidia is eight, so she gets to spread the dough on the corn husk leaves. I wish I was eight, so that my hands would be big enough to spread the dough just right—not too thick and not too thin.”

And so the years pass, and Ana turns eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen. But every year, big sister Lidia is always two years older. Ana envies her elder sibling and wishes she could do what Lidia does: put just the right amount of meat inside the tamales and roll them up; steam the tamales without scalding herself with the hot, hot steam; chop and cook the meat for the tamales without cutting or burning her hands.

When she turns eighteen, though, Ana knows she will keep making tamales and she will be able to do all of the steps herself in her very own factory. When Christmas comes around, Ana will deliver tamales to all of her customers around the world, in delivery trucks that say “Ana’s Tamales.” And, Ana thinks, if her sister Lidia wants to, she can work for her.

Gwendolyn Zepeda’s rhythmic prose is combined with April Ward’s bright illustrations to create an affectionate and amusing story about sibling relationships that introduces an important Hispanic holiday tradition—making tamales!

GWENDOLYN ZEPEDA is the author of a collection of short prose, To the Last Man I Slept with and All the Jerks Just Like Him (Arte Público Press, 2004), and a novel, Houston, We Have a Problema (Solana, 2009). She was one of the founding staff writers of Television Without Pity (, writing weekly entertainment pieces for over five million readers. Her essays have appeared on HipMama magazine’s site and others. She has written and illustrated her award-winning website,, since 1997. She currently resides in Houston with her three sons.

APRIL WARD is the illustrator of Butterflies on Carmen Street / Mariposas en la calle Carmen (Piñata Books, 2007) and Juan and the Chupacabras / Juan y el Chupacabras (Piñata Books, 2006). Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and has been working in children’s book publishing ever since. She currently lives in San Diego, California.

Several Bilingual Picture Books for Children Now Available in Paperback!

Big Enough / Bastante grande by Ofelia Dumas Lachtman. Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez.

Family, Familia by Diane Gonzales Bertrand. Illustrated Pauline Rodriguez.

Tomasa the Cow / La vaca Tomasa written and illustrated by Pietrapiana

The Desert Is My Mother / El desierto es mi madre by Pat Mora. Illustrated by Daniel Lechon.

Sip, Slurp, Soup, Soup / Caldo, caldo, caldo by Diane Gonzales Bertrand.

César Chávez: The Struggle for Justice / César Chávez: La lucha por la justicia by Richard Griswold del Castillo. Illustrated by Anthony Accardo.

Icy Watermelon / Sandía fría by Mary Sue Galindo. Illustrated by Pauline Rodriguez Howard.

Chave’s Memories / Los recuerdos de Chave by Maria Isabel Delgado. Illustrated by Yvonne Symank.


norma landa flores said...

When I was growing up in Boyle Heights and East L.A.,My parents warned me not to go out at night because 'El Cooqui" might get me and take me away to work in the stinky onion fields. They never told me what he looked like, so I just had to be careful of everyone, after dark.

I'm glad to have a description of "El Cucuy" and even how to spell his name correctly, thanks to this new book! Also, how clever to make it a Hispanic version of "Beauty and the Beast!"

Speaking pedagogically, though, doesn't this teach children that 'Cucuys' such as drugged-up pedophiles, might still be fun playmates? I'm just saying, that's all.


Anonymous said...

great! thanks very much for sharing!