Wednesday, May 06, 2009

René Has Two Last Names

My dear character René from I Am René, the Boy/ Soy René, el niño is back with a new adventure in René Has Two Last Names/ René tiene dos apellidos. Illustrated by Fabiola Graullera Ramirez.

In this new title, René will work to have his two last names, just like in El Salvador. At school, they called him René Colato. But what happened to his Mamás beautiful last name? René is not a complete boy by being only René Colato.

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Pinata Books (October 31, 2009)
  • Language: Bilingual English/Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 1558855300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558855304
From the Publisher:

An engaging bilingual picture book about a boy’s clever efforts
to help his classmates understand a Hispanic cultural tradition

"On the first day at my new school, my teacher, Miss Soria, gave me a sticker that said René Colato. The sticker was missing my second last name. Maybe Miss Soria's pen ran out of ink. I took my pencil and added it. Now it looked right: René Colato Laínez."

Young René 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, René and Amelia. When he writes Laínez, he sees his maternal grandparents, Angela and Julio. Without his second last name, René feels incomplete, "like a hamburger without the meat or a pizza without cheese or a hot dog without a wiener."

His new classmates giggle when René tells them his name. "That's a long dinosaur name," one says. "Your name is longer than an anaconda," another laughs. But René doesn't want to lose the part of him that comes from his mother's family. So when the students are given a project to create a family tree, René is determined to explain the importance of using both of his last names. On the day of his presentation, René explains that he is as hard working as Abuelo René, 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 charming bilingual picture book for children ages 4 - 8 combines the winning team of author René Colato Laínez and illustrator Fabiola Graullera Ramírez, and follows their award-winning collaboration, I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño. With whimsical illustrations and entertaining text, this sequel is sure to please fans and gain many new ones while explaining an important Hispanic cultural tradition.

RENÉ COLATO LAÍNEZ came to the United States from El Salvador as a teen, and he writes about his experiences in children’s books such as Waiting for Papá / Esperando a Papá (Piñata Books, 2004) and I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño (Piñata Books, 2005), which received Special Recognition in the 2006 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. His book, Playing Lotería / El juego de la lotería (Luna Rising, 2005), was a finalist in the 2007-2008 Tejas Star Book Award, was named to Críticas magazine’s “Best Children’s Books” of 2005 and received the 2008 New Mexico Book Award for Best Children’s Book. René is a graduate of the Vermont College MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults and a bilingual elementary teacher at Fernangeles Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

FABIOLA GRAULLERA RAMIREZ, a native of Mexico City, graduated from UNAM’s National School of Fine Arts with a degree in Graphic Communication. Her work has been part of collective exhibits in Mexico and Spain. She has illustrated many picture books, including I Am René, the Boy / Soy René, el niño (Piñata Books, 2005).


Anonymous said...


Daniel A. Olivas said...

Congratulations on your new book!

René Schmooha Haskins said...

My name is René....Congrats on your new book!