Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Bilingual Books from Arte Publico Press/ Piñata Books

The Battle of the Snow Cones
La guerra de las raspas

Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Illustrations by Alisha Gambino
Spanish translation by Amira Plascencia
November 30, 2010, 32 pages
Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 1-55885-575-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-55885-575-5

This spirited bilingual kids’ book blends themes 
of entrepreneurship and friendship

It was so hot in Caliente, Texas, that the townspeople gulped gallons of lemonade and poured buckets of water over their heads, but they couldn’t stay cool.

Swinging on the front porch with her mother, Elena suddenly has an idea. Raspas—icy cold snow cones—are what the neighbors need to stay cool. And she can make and sell the refreshing treats from a stand in her own front yard! So with the help of her parents, Elena soon has a stand and the items needed to make and sell the snow cones. Before long everyone is lining up to buy the frosty delights in delicious flavors.

Elena’s best friend Alma watches her friend’s success from across the street and decides to start her own snow cone stand. And so begins the battle of the snow cones, with each girl devising ever more elaborate plans to attract clients: decorating their stands with colorful Mexican crepe paper flowers and papel picado, adding exotic flavors such as coconut and mango to their menus, staging puppet shows and even a folkloric dance. The girls’ ice shaving machines furiously crank out raspas, until one day both machines go bonkers!

Readers will enjoy the girls’ clever antics to attract customers in this lively, colorful picture book for children ages 4 – 8. And just as important, kids will learn—along with Elena and Alma—that competitors can still be friends.

LUPE RUIZ-FLORES resides in San Antonio, Texas, where she writes poetry and children's stories. She is the author of Lupita's Papalote / El papalote de Lupita (Piñata Books, 2002) and The Woodcutter’s Gift / El regalo del leñador (Piñata Books, 2007).

ALISHA GAMBINO, the illustrator of Sunflowers / Girasoles (Piñata Books, 2009), teaches for Continuing Education at the Kansas City Art Institute and is the Art Education Curator for the Mattie Rhodes Art Cen- ter. She has exhibited her work at galleries around the country, and lives and works in Gladstone, Missouri.

Grandma’s Chocolate
El chocolate de Abuelita

Mara Price
Illustrations by Lisa Fields
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura
November 30, 2010, 32 pages
Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 1-55885-587-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-55885-587-8

A young girl enjoys her Mexican grandmother’s chocolate
gifts and stories about her indigenous ancestors

Abuela’s visits from Mexico are always full of excitement for young Sabrina. She can’t wait to see what’s in her grandmother’s yellow suitcase covered in stickers from all the places she has visited. Opening it is like opening a treasure chest, and this year is no different. Inside are a host of riches: colorful ribbons, a clay whistle shaped like a bird, a drum, and the strong smell of chocolate.
“Abuelita, do you want to play a game? Let’s pretend that I’m a princess,” Sabrina says. “Okay, Sabrina,” Abuela says, “but a Mayan princess should wear a beautiful dress called a huipil.” And she pulls the traditional garment worn by Mayan and Aztec women from her suitcase.

Sabrina has lots of questions about her ancestors. Did Mayan princesses have money? Did they go to school? Did they eat chocolate ice cream? With her grandmother’s help, Sabrina learns all about the cacao tree, which was first cultivated by Mexico’s indigenous tribes. Today, seeds from the cacao tree give us chocolate, but years ago the seeds were so valuable they were used as money. And Moctezuma, the Aztec emperor, liked to eat chocolate poured over bowls of snow brought from the mountains!

Sabrina discovers that “chocolate is perfect for a Mayan princess.” And children ages 4- 8 are sure to agree as they curl up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and this charming bilingual picture book that depicts a loving relationship between grandmother and granddaughter and shares the history and customs of the native peoples of Mexico.

MARA PRICE is a native of Mexico and now lives in Southern California. A member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, her work has been published in Iguana, a Spanish-language children’s magazine. This is her first published book.

LISA FIELDS is the illustrator of The Triple Banana Split Boy / El niño goloso (Piñata Books, 2009). She received her BFA in illustration from the Ringling School of Art and Design and attended the Illustration Academy. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, she lives in her hometown of Katonah, New York.

The Runaway Piggy
El cochinito fugitivo

James Luna
Illustrations by Laura Lacamara
Spanish translation by Carolina Villarroel
November 30, 2010, 32 pages
Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 1-55885-586-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-55885-586-1

This rollicking bilingual picture book re-tells 
a familiar story with a Latino twist

The sun shines through the windows of Martha’s Panadería onto the shelves of freshly baked treats. The bakery holds tray after tray of hot Mexican sweet bread—conchas, orejas, cuernitos, empanadas, and cochinitos—all ready for hungry customers.

In the classic tradition of The Gingerbread Man, James Luna’s piggy cookie leaps off the baking tray and takes the reader on a mad dash through the barrio, past Lorenzo’s Auto Shop, Nita’s Beauty Salon, Leti’s Flower Shop, and Juana’s Thrift Shop.

The telephone repairman, the bus driver . . . each person the piggy encounters is greeted by his laugh and the repeated refrain: “Chase me! Chase me down the street! But this is one piggy you won’t get to eat! I ran away from the others and I’ll run away from you!” The cochinito fugitivo avoids being eaten by the long line of people chasing him through the neighborhood streets . . . until he meets a crafty little girl named Rosa!

Children—and adults too—will delight in the clever piggy’s escape from Martha’s Panadería in this entertaining retelling of a familiar story set in a colorful Latino neighborhood. A recipe to make Mexican gingerbread pig cookies is included in both English and Spanish.

JAMES LUNA is an elementary school teacher in Riverside, California. This is his first published book.

LAURA LACAMARA is a Cuban-American artist and author. Floating on Mama’s Song / Flotando en la canción de mamá, her picture book illustrated by Yuyi Morales, was published by HarperCollins in 2010. The Runaway Piggy is the first picture book she has illustrated. Laura lives in Venice, California, with her family.

A Good Long Way
René Saldaña, Jr.

October 30, 2010, 128 pages
Trade Paperback
Ages 11 and up
ISBN-10: 1-55885-607-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-55885-607-3

This affecting novel follows the troubled
lives of three teens in deep South Texas

"Stop it. The two of you, stop it! You're father and son; you should love each other." Roelito howls at his father and older brother as their heated argument turns into a pushing, shoving match. Beto has again come home way past curfew, and worse, smelling like a cantina.

When Beto Sr. tells his son that he either needs to follow the rules or leave, the boy—a senior in high school and a man as far as he's concerned—decides to leave, right then, in the middle of the night. Once he has walked away, though, he realizes he has nowhere to go. Maybe his best friend Jessy—a hard-as-nails girl who has run away before—can help him.

The story of Beto’s decision to run away and drop out of school is told from shifting perspectives in which the conflicted lives of Roel, Beto, and Jessy are revealed in short, poignant scenes that reflect teen-age life along the Texas-Mexico border.

Each one has a good long way to go in growing up. Roel fights against the teachers’ assumptions that he’s like Beto. Unlike his big brother, Roel is book smart and actually enjoys school. Jessy is smart too, but most of her teachers can’t see beyond her tough-girl façade. Her parents are so busy fighting with each other that they don’t notice her, even if she’s packing a suitcase to leave. And Beto . . . somewhere along the way he quit caring about school. And his teachers have noticed and given up too.

Author and educator René Saldaña, Jr. once again writes a fast-paced, thought-provoking novel that will engage young adults in questions about their own lives and responsibilities to family, friends, and most of all, to themselves.

RENÉ SALDAÑA, JR. is the author of The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El caso de la pluma perdida (Piñata Books, 2009), The Whole Sky Full of Stars (Random House, 2007), The Jumping Tree (Delacorte, 2001), and Finding Our Way: Stories (Random House, 2003). He lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he teaches in the College of Education at Texas Tech

Pelé King of Soccer Winner!

Congratulations to Lori Langer de Ramirez -MisCositas‬

Gracias por participar.


Cassy said...

Mil gracias Rene, for posting about these children's and YA books. I'm always on the lookout for these types of selections that address our kids, our cultures. I'm a Latina biingual 4th gr teacher in NJ. Sadly, our school library is lacking in Latino books and I'm constantly making suggestions to the librarian who "cuando se le ocurre" will buy a few new bilingual books.

Thank you, as I look to La Bloga as a resource in so many ways...

Roller shoes said...

well,interesting post
I read it,like it

Rene Colato Lainez said...

Thanks Cassy,

We need to promote multicultural books! They are full with treasures.

Peni R. Griffin said...

Hey, I know that author! Three cheers for Lupe!

Of course, a raspa isn't a snow cone. A snow cone is a Slurpee in a different shaped container. Raspas have some body to them. I think we should start using raspa more among English speakers so that they internalize the difference and don't demean true raspas by association with the inferior product. Ditto paleta, which is way superior to a popsicle.